As a general rule, local media are interested in local people and issues – so individuals who are involved in efforts that help the local community (through fundraising, charity etc), stories about plans that will affect the local community either positively or negatively (eg traffic, local resources, the buildings around the city and county, or public services), or community events with a visual angle (picture stories) will always be interesting.
The outlets local to Oxford in particular are especially sensitive to stories that further the ‘town-gown divide’ narrative, and there is particular sensitivity around the building footprint of the University around the city, and the opposition of many local residents to big building plans (or even disputes between University neighbours related to development plans – see for example the front-page Oxford Mail stories about the Bodleian Library’s objections to Trinity College’s new building project).
If you have a story that ticks any of the following boxes, it’s worth considering pitching to local media:
Give them a clear, descriptive headline that tells the story, use non-technical language and write copy that explains the benefits of your offering to local people and institutions. Journalists who are busy want to be able to copy and paste the story with as little fussing around with it as possible. Be sure to include:
In some cases, an operational note rather than full news release may be enough; if you are running a major event that has traffic or transport implications for the city and commuters it’s always worth ringing the local radio stations asking them to put it on their bulletins as a reminder to commuters that you are trying to be a good neighbour.