Brand Channeler

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Making national go local

by Cone Communications

Every PR professional has heard the dreaded reporter feedback at least once: “This isn’t local enough. Why does this matter to me or my readers?” When dealing with a national product launch or campaign, the national media angle is often obvious, but it’s challenging to find the local hook that answers the “why does this matter to me?” question. However, if local and national media attention is important, there are ways to hyper-localize a campaign without sacrificing a larger story.


One great example is our recent work with Cone client Yoplait, who tasked us with driving sales and awareness of Yoplait Original Style Yogurt in the city known for its style and attitude: New York City. To bring this program to life, Cone joined forces with Betsey Johnson, a New York designer and style icon, to help Yoplait salute and reward New York women for their own strength and style. Johnson is also a breast cancer survivor and an avid supporter of breast cancer research – something that is deeply rooted in Yoplait’s DNA – so we worked closely with Johnson’s team to ensure the brand partnership benefitted this importance cause.



Yoplait distributed more than 45,000 free cups of yogurt in New York City through integration with the Betsey Johnson Fashion’s Night Out event; a Yoplait Love’s New York Women celebratory kick-off event with Johnson benefitting Fashion Targets Breast Cancer; and via sampling efforts throughout the city leveraging students from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The campaign used Facebook and foursquare to geo-target New York visitors and residents in an effort to trigger event attendance, buzz and conversations surrounding the campaign, as well as Twitter to push out campaign messages.


Despite its local focus, the campaign managed to generate national media attention, including Daily Buzz, Jezebel, MSN Entertainment,, USA Today and the “Today Show,” in addition to local New York coverage. Below are a few keys to success for making local go national:

  • Strategic Partner Selection: Partners like Betsey Johnson and FIT students are quintessential icons in the New York area but also resonate on a national scale. Consider both local and national appeal when selecting.
  • Events with local and national appeal: Consider tapping into or creating events that are important to the local community but have national legs like Fashion’s Night Out.
  • Cause element: Giving back to a cause as part of the campaign that benefits the local community but also has influence nationally will aid in giving a program national legs.

At the outset of planning for a local campaign with national legs think back to the question you will inevitably get from the daily newspaper reporter, “Why does this matter to me?” And always make sure you have a good answer.


--Lindsay Harrington, Senior Account Supervisor, @LindsHar15




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