I attended my first writer's seminar shortly after the release of my first book, Party For Two.

It made three of Amazon's Best Seller lists in the first week because of my online publicity and social media campaign, but I knew nothing about offline book promotion.

The seminar presenter was an established author with multiple successful books , so I looked forward to her advice… until she gave it to me.

As I shared my National publicity plans with her she suggested that I focus on Local publicity because, "It is easier to become a BIG fish in a small pond."

I didn't like her advice, because like all authors, I wanted major media attention. Even worse, I had experienced major National and International publicity for years with previous businesses, so I wanted and expected more of the same for my new brand.

I falsely thought that focusing on Local publicity meant I wouldn't get National publicity.

After I thought about her advice, I realized I should have known better because ALL of the National publicity I had received over the previous twenty+ years was a result of me focusing on Local publicity.

Here's one example:

The organization I led received word that a local government agency was considering canceling our lease for one of their properties.

I could have hired an attorney to fight for us, but that could have cost a fortune and taken forever.

Instead I launched a FREE publicity campaign.

I started by emailing a press release to our local newspaper here in Melbourne, Florida. They were intrigued by the story and immediately assigned a reporter to interview me.

Our story appeared on Friday on the FRONT page of the paper. That was amazing, but what happened over the next week was even more amazing.

The article caught the attention of the Orlando TV network affiliates; so crews from FOX, NBC, ABC & Bright House cable news came to interview me.

The Orlando Fox affiliate ran the interview on Sunday. This caught the attention of Fox National News, so on Monday, Fox & Friends covered our story.

The Associated Press saw our local paper's story so they picked up the story. Thanks to the AP Wire our story appeared in over 200 newspapers, radio shows and websites in over 12 countries within a week.

I'm not just talking about small community newspapers, I'm talking about The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times...

I got an email from my old friend from grad school, Jong Ho, telling me my picture and story was on the front page of his newspaper in Seoul, Korea!

The national attention caused the local reporter who ran the first story to come back and run MORE follow up stories which led to even more TV interviews.

I should point out that local reporters LOVE having one of their stories picked up by the wire services. They also love doing follow up stories since they are already familiar with the story and you, the object of the article.

Our story, and our victory over the local government agency, literally went around the world, ALL BECAUSE OF ONE LOCAL PRESS RELEASE.

That is one of many examples of major National and International publicity I've received. Not from being a small fish in the BIG pond of National media, but by becoming a BIG fish in a small pond.

Here are five reasons why you should focus your publicity efforts Locally instead of Nationally:

1. Local publicity is MUCH easier to achieve. There is not nearly as much competition for local stories as national stories, and local media are always looking for human interest stories and experts sharing a local perspective to national news.

2. Local publicity is MUCH easier to dominate. In part for the same reason as number one, but also because it is a smaller target. I live on the Spacecoast of Central, Florida. My county has a population of about 500,000, so we aren't a tiny town. I once appeared in our local newspaper 26 times in a 30 day period!

3. Local publicity is more targeted to your potential clients. If you are a doctor, lawyer, Realtor, chef, restaurateur, etc., then focusing your publicity efforts on local media is going to reach the people most likely to do business with you.

4. Local publicity helps you become a brand name quickly. A few newspaper articles, guest appearances on local talk radio, letters to the editor, local TV news interviews and all of a sudden you are the recognized expert in your field.

5. Local publicity can lead to MAJOR National and International publicity. In addition to the examples I shared with you, I've been a guest on The Today Show, appeared in EVERY major newspaper and covered by EVERY national TV network more times than I can count, ALL because of Local publicity and positioning myself as a local expert.

As you focus on local publicity and start becoming recognized as the local expert in your field, an interesting thing happens. Instead of you seeking the media, they start seeking you!

For a number of years I headed up a local non-profit group. Because I was recognized as an expert the local media and the network affiliates from Orlando, an hour away, would call me EVERY time there was any national news related to my cause.

Focus on getting local publicity. Get to know the reporters, editors, and radio hosts. Build relationships with them and seek to serve them. Continually work to provide valuable information and you will enjoy a continuous flow of media attention that will build your brand and attract more customers than advertising could ever do, and it's free!

Author's Bio: 

Would you like Free Publicity? Get my free training at http://www.PerpetualPublicity.com

Bruce is a bestselling author, speaker and trainer and founder of Perpetual Publicity, a step-by-step training system that teaches Authors, Business Owners and other Entrepreneurs how to grow their business through free publicity.

Bruce has been featured, quoted, profiled or has appeared in thousands of newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and TV shows in over twenty countries, including:The Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, I Heart Radio, and NPR.