Over the next few blogs we will look in detail about how you should be building up your patch. And how you should already be pitching to your local newspapers.
Today we will keep it simple.
|Your (ahem) patch|
We will come back to contacts but there are other things you should have done by now. You should have a Twitter feed for anyone in your area. By all means keep it separate from your personal account - it would help if you give it the name of your patch (or at least include it) and you keep it open. First tap out the name of your patch. See what comes up and follow them. Follow any obvious landmarks pubs, schools, local council etc. Make sure you include local councillors, the local MP and so on. Then using the advanced Twitter search that we saw in a previous post see if there is anyone less obvious you can follow.
Follow anyone that follows this Twitter account - if you've called it say My Whitechapel then the people will probably have an interest. You should be constanty tweeting from it asking for any stories always include the name of the patch. Inform people of the stories you are working on, give them updates, throw out more appeals for information.
Set up a special email account and link that to your Twitter feed.
On Google (I'm really not going to give you a link to that) set up Google Alerts, firstly for the name of your patch. But also the names of markets, major streets, the council, councillors, local celebrities etc etc.
Check out local news websites - even seemingly defunct ones which can spring back to life suddenly and for no obvious reason. Check also local bloggers - follow them and bookmark them.
Buy the local newspaper - yes, buy it every week! Again after a few weeks it will prove a wise investment (but I will come back to this).
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