Help the Media Spotlight Your Nonprofit
By John Pellegrino
The following tips will help:
Know Whats Newsworthy
Job one is to uncover as many newsworthy items as possible related to your organization. Ask the following questions: What is your organization doing differently than others? Are any staff members doing something extraordinary during or outside of work? Are celebrities attending your fundraiser? Are people positively impacted by your charity willing to tell their stories to the media?
Use your list of newsworthy items as a guide and develop the materials you will use to entice media members to report on your organizations news. Press materials, including email pitches, press releases and calendar listings, should be brief and to the point. One solid quote from your nonprofits leader should do the trick.
Use your time wisely and only target media outlets who report on the subject matter you are pitching, or outlets covering news or events within your region. Local weekly papers and regional daily papers crave local news so they should be your first target.
The way you present your story ideas to the media can spell the difference between success and failure. Media members dont have the time and patience for fluff and slick sales pitches. Most importantly, make sure you understand the publication's focus and interests. Editors instantly know if you have never read the publication, and dont have the time to educate you.
Social media is a free and valuable asset to instantaneously spread your message to a large audience. Get as many followers across the various social media channels as possible and make every post count. Develop a humorous Top 20 list as an effective way to promote fundraisers and post one item a day leading up to the event.
Securing media interviews is a positive step, but it's wasted if your spokesperson fails to convey the proper message. Have a detailed plan mapped out before interviews, including facts and statistics to illustrate why your nonprofits cause/event is worthy of donation and participation. Television and radio interview answers should be kept short. Broadcast interviews generally last a few minutes so dont spend your entire time answering one question. Provide dynamic video to accompany show interviews or news stories.
Make your news coverage the gift that keeps on giving. Create a book filled with your prominent news coverage and proudly display it at your office, fundraising events, and other public outings. Update your websites In the News section with your latest news coverage. Use your media coverage as a tool to secure grant money.