getting your nonprofit the coverage it deserves
When your organization has a major fundraiser, event, or project coming up, it’s easy to get wrapped up in ensuring the logistics are in order — often leaving PR to an afterthought.
On the flip side, your next event or program may be a few months out and your organization is doubling-down on the day-to-day tasks. Being part of a nonprofit can put you so close to good work happening on the daily that it’s difficult to realize how newsworthy your “everyday” truly is. The work you do matters, and media outlets and news readers starved for local, positive stories want to hear about it.
Get the coverage your nonprofit deserves by telling the stories you’d like to read, listen to, or watch. Not the face-of-the-company you, but the reader, listener, and viewer you are at home, or when you’re waiting in line scrolling through content. Consider these four tips for recognizing media opportunities, crafting compelling stories, and convincing the media your content is a must-share:
1. Be Your Own Reporter
To get into the media, think like the media. Whether the news you want to share is about an upcoming event or initiative, or as simple yet uplifting as a community member’s several-decade volunteer anniversary, or a youth-led community project resulting in an impressive donation to your organization, prepare your press materials and pitch from the POV of a reporter.
Put yourself in the shoes of a reporter — seeking or reacting to news, researching the topic, lining up interviews, transcribing quotes, fact checking, writing, and editing for publication on a deadline. Hosting a quick interview with a staff member, client, volunteer, or donor related to the news adds multiple perspectives to a story and saves the media outlet the time of collecting those soundbytes (or shows there are opportunities to hear from several people in an expanded story!).
Provide media that furthers your story. Pictures, video, or infographics that offer a visual balance make for a well-rounded news piece and take the pressure off of the outlet to fit a site visit into their news schedule or pull imagery of their own. And if your objective is to secure live media coverage at an event, press conference, or project, well then... take a stab at the next tip.
2. Paint a Picture — Then Make Sure it Happens
Recruiting a news crew to cover a live event boils down to visual appeal, and frankly, timing.
Better your chances of rallying some coverage by painting a picture of your event, and its significance to the community, in your pitch. Hint at how your team will transform the event venue into a one-night only themed space. Share how unique the honorary speaker’s story is to the community. Describe how the event will unfold, and the right time and place for the media to be to get grade-A coverage and interviews.
3. Join the Conversation
If you’re striving for some regular media coverage but haven’t had an event, update, or heartfelt happening in a while, don’t fret. Tune in to what’s going on in pop culture, the national news, and other industries to stay up to date on the latest conversations. Then, offer a media outlet with your organization’s take on that topic. Join the conversation to continue the dialogue while earning some local credibility by taking a mission-driven stance.
4. Share Sweetly
You’ve likely spent a bit of time pulling together the idea and components for an ideal media highlight, and it’s hinging on your media contact to open your pitch email or take your call. Breathe easy knowing that the pitch you sent shows genuine passion, while accommodating the reporter and being kind. The story may not work out this time, but understanding and collaboration may secure you alternative opportunities based on goodwill.
So, if you’re in busy season or back on a regular schedule, pause to consider what’s on tap for your marketing efforts, and the difference some light PR efforts could have in reaching untapped audiences, building connections, and positioning your organization.
Does your nonprofit have some good news to share? Whether you’re looking for PR home runs like free commercial airtime at a professional sports game, or simply a platform to share your organization’s perspective on a hot topic, we’ve got the connections. Let’s collaborate!