Justilien gave a great interview over on GrayWolf's SEO Blog about local search and finding links. He offers up a number of good points, I particularly like this one:
...."Another strategy is to publish expert articles on industry related sites. Hire a writer or editor if needed. By doing this the site gets a link or two and may pickup secondary links from others who read the article such as journalist and bloggers...."
I think hiring local editors/journalists is a smart idea for a number of reasons:
1. It's (almost) a sure thing that you'll get a link from their host publication. Newspapers, like websites, always need content!
2. Newspaper people are a lot like academian's, they accrue credibility by what they publish. That link-filled article of yours won't just sit there, it'll be sent out to all her/his contacts and then some.
3. Most journalist's have their own blogs now, which need content, and credibility etc etc.
If you're looking to hire writers for local angles, local newspaper people are golden!