Clearly the media landscape is changing as traditional vehicles like newspapers, which a handful of publishers filed earlier this year for Chapter 11 including the Tribune Co. and the Sun-Times Media Group, are reeling from a significantly declining advertising revenues. In turn, this has opened the door for hyperlocal sites – which allows news and information to be delivered down to the city and neighborhood level – and it is quickly emerging as the reincarnation of media.
Last week, GroundFloor Media announced that we have been retained by Examiner.com. Launched in April 2008, Examiner.com has grown more than 200 percent since the beginning of this year and now has more than 21,000 Examiners in 177 major markets across the United States and Canada providing in-depth local news and information to consumers hungry for hyperlocal information.
Interestingly, many still argue the hyperlocal model isn’t viable, as advertisers have yet to flock to hyperlocal sites. According to Borrell Associates, the online local-advertising market is projected to grow 5.4% in 2009 to $13.3 billion. I tell you, it is just a matter of time before businesses make the shift from traditional offline, local venues like the Yellow Pages to hyperlocal sites like Examiner.com, as hyperlocal sites deliver a highly targeted and interactive audience.
Need proof that this trend is catching on? In late August, National Public Radio aired a story about how Nike and other shoe manufacturers are focusing more on hyperlocal marketing activities rather than big, expensive national marketing campaigns. Read about it here.
While companies look to creative ways to partner with the hyperlocal sites, from a traditional PR perspective, many of my cohorts, myself included, have worked, and will continue to work, with Examiners (Examiner.com’s expert writers) to tell our clients’ stories. It’s refreshing that we now have the opportunity to share why hyperlocal content is here to stay and the unique marketing and PR opportunities it will offer. I am excited to be on this account team and to work with the team at Examiner.com to create greater brand awareness and help them achieve their aggressive expansion plans.