Although newspapers are slowly losing out to the internet, don’t dismiss their power just yet. Local newspapers are very good at reflecting what local people are thinking. And it’s surprising how quickly a news story becomes known by people who haven’t even read it, but have heard it second, third or fourth hand from an original reader.
If it’s profile you’re after, it’s worth building up contacts with local journalists as a source of information and possible stories. Also, check out local magazines and newsletters. They all need (free) content and, again, can be read by a lot of people.