White House Communications Strategy: Go Local

Rather than fruitlessly swinging and missing at attempted home runs, we sometimes urge clients to rack up a scoreboard of “singles” and “doubles” in smaller media markets. These hits – while individually lower reach – can seed search engine rankings with favorable coverage and reach the target audience in smaller batches.

The White House appears to have seized this strategy. The White House press team generated favorable coverage by mailing letters to children, giving out “challenge coins,” and inviting families to tour the White House. Smaller newspapers cover the events as human interest stories with headlines like “Granbury student’s Flat Stanley gets to watch movies, bowl at the White House,” or “kid receives heartwarming letter from President.” It’s a clever approach, and one could be geared to reach the President’s most ardent supporters in the middle of the country. (It also occasionally works with national outlets – CBS News aired a favorable piece about a correspondence letter from the White House.)

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