BusinessJournalism.org blogger Melissa Preddy offered these 10 tips on localizing national business stories:
1. Break it down. Use alternative story-telling methods such as a diagrams, timelines, Q-and-As, consumer guides, such as this interactive one from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
2. Go long. Over time, follow a job seeker, track the price of a market basket of goods or track the transactions on a single property.
3. Engage local experts. Talk to Kellogg’s on commodities, Masco Corp. on home building or local app developers on the new iPad.
4. Source the suppliers. Purchasing groups and unions can also be sources.
5. Tap into trade groups. Looking at fitness-group websites, she found information about pending legislation in several states regulating personal trainers. There are groups that manage trade groups and can be a conduit to other trade groups.
6. Delve into local data. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has livestock stats down to the county level. The National Conference of State Legislatures and Center for Public Policy Priorities track information down to the state level. Woods & Poole Economics Inc. does county-level jobs, housing and economic forecasts to 2040.
7. Who benefits? Even in calamity, someone often benefits. Seafood suppliers from elsewhere were in demand after the Gulf oil spill.
8. Find the personal finance angle. Ponder the consumer angle along these seven dimensions: earning, borrowing, spending, saving, investing, taxes and risk management.
10. Have fun! Oddball economic indicators include luxury desserts, romance novels and dry-cleaning pickups.
Preddy will also do a free Webinar on the same topic on June 21. Below are some more resources and examples.
Helpful Documents and Links:
In Story ideas.