February 26, 2015
Securing media coverage for your nonprofit organization can be frustrating, especially when you take the time to send a press release and never hear anything back. But journalists are on a tight deadline and don’t have the time to respond to every pitch. In order to make your press release stand out, follow these three simple strategies: pitch a relevant story angle, write like a journalist, and add a personal touch.
The number one question newsroom editors ask before covering a story is “why should I care?” To make your story matter it needs to have a timely angle or tie into a local/national trend. For example if you are promoting water conservation, lead in with a startling statistic about California’s drought or an upcoming event like Earth Day. Another strategy is to pitch a follow-up piece on a story the journalist has covered in the past. If the reporter did a story about overcrowding at an animal shelter, suggest they meet with your no-kill nonprofit about how to get more cats and dogs adopted.
It is also important to make the information in your release easy to find. “Put the contact information right up top followed by a sentence or two summarizing what it’s about,” recommends Danny Willis with the Bay Area News Group. Business jargon or over-the-top statements are red flags for media professionals. The easier you make it for journalists to cover a story, the more likely your story will be picked up.
Finally when you are ready to submit your release, send it to reporters or producers personally. Journalists rely on a handful of interview contacts for most stories, so the goal is to get on their short list. Reporters are always looking for passionate experts locally, who are willing to be interviewed at a moment’s notice. Build relationships with journalists in your city and then follow-up with them personally after sending a press release. If a media organization does reach out, never turn down an interview request because as the old adage goes “any publicity is good publicity”.
For other ideas about how to get press coverage visit GreatNonprofits’ Social Media and Marketing Kit at http://goo.gl/z45Qvo.
Brittany Freitas is a media professional, with 5+ years of experience producing and reporting local television news. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 15, 2015
Muttville Founder Sherri Franklin
At the crack of dawn, Sherri Franklin awakens to a household full of old dogs. Franklin is the founder and CEO of San Francisco based Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. On any given day, she has a dozen grey muzzles of all sizes camping out at her Potrero Hill home. Franklin had always had a passion for animals, dogs in particular, and more specifically, senior dogs. As a volunteer for the SF/SPCA, she saw too many older dogs get passed over for adoption. One day, she rescued one—saving it from certain euthanasia and finding it a new home. Her ad-hoc rescue work grew, and in 2007 she founded Muttville. (more…)
January 12, 2015
For an excerpt of, "Matterness" click on the image.
Here Are Five Steps to Get You Moving in the Right Direction from Allison Fine, author of “Matterness, what fearless leaders know about the power and promise of social media.” For an excerpt of Allison’s book, click here.
- Think Abundance. Do you spend more time in meetings discussing what could go wrong or what could go right? Is your organization afraid of what people out there could do to harm your organization, or are you excited about engaging in their natural creativity and enthusiasm? Are critics treated as whackadoodles intending to do harm or as friends who are frustrated and want you to do better?
- Start Speaking With Not At Your Constituents. Stop using social media to just broadcast messages at people and start using them to ask real questions the answers to which are important to your efforts.
- Work with Your Crowds. Get in conversation with your crowds wherever they are. Ask them to do something creative with you, learn something together, gather information and intelligence, co-create an event together – before your ask them to buy a ticket!
- Gather Your People On Land. Gather ten or so donors together in someone’s home and talk about your cause with them. Discuss whether and how you make them feel like they matter. Do your communications feel personal? Does it feel like you only communicate with them to ask for money? Are they learning more about the cause?
- Figure Out What Scares You Most About Social Media– And Do It. Find a friend to teach you how to tweet, and spend a half an hour a day on Twitter. Talk to a critic on your blog, directly, like a human being, for the world to see. Encourage your younger staffers to use social media to talk about the organization (with some ground rules and talking points) and let them make mistakes. The sky won’t fall – I promise.
Allison Fine is among the pre-eminent guides to the social media revolution. Her new book is Matterness: What Fearless Leaders Know About the Power and Promise of Social Media. Matterness explains how and why people and organizations are better together with social media. It implores organizational leaders to stop focusing in the mythical fears keeping them locked behind their walls and to start working with rather than at people. In the end, the book explains that we don’t need better people; we need better leaders
December 29, 2014
Image courtesy of Charity Defense Council
It’s the home stretch for donors to make tax deductible charitable gifts in 2014. To help donors choose wisely during this season of giving, some websites focus on overhead costs to judge a nonprofits’ effectiveness. But contrary to popular belief, overhead costs don’t tell the whole story. “Don’t ask if a charity has low overhead. Ask if it has big impact,” according to entrepreneur and author Dan Pallota. (more…)
December 10, 2014
GreatNonprofits welcomes Parker Blackman as the new Board Chair, and new board members Bill Crane, former VP of at LinkedIn, and Reed Colley, CEO of FlightPath!
Parker Blackman is the Founder and Principal of Parker Strategies. Previously Blackman served as Chief Operating Officer and West Coast Managing Director at Fenton, the largest public interest communications firm in the nation. During that time he successfully led the San Francisco office, established Fenton’s Los Angeles office, built the firm’s digital capabilities, and led the transition from a public relations to an integrated communications firm.
Blackman served as partner and lead strategist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, First 5 LA, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Playworks. He has consulted for movement leaders including Arianna Huffington & Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
“Parker Blackman will be a terrific asset for GreatNonprofits. His work at Fenton in organizational leadership and communications strategy was legendary,” said Mal Warwick, who is retiring after eight years as board chair. (more…)
December 10, 2014
Christmas is just around the corner! This holiday season, why not “shop for good”? You probably spend a lot of time and energy looking for that perfect gift, so why not give a gift with a purpose? You’ll help a worthy cause and delight a loved one with a thoughtful gift!
November 5, 2014
So the day we’ve all been waiting for is here! #GivingTuesday – a national movement and brainchild of the 92nd Street Y– The idea is to create a daylong national effort to help charities raise money online during the holiday season – and right on the heals of Cyber Monday and Black Friday. We’ve been preparing for months. But what do you do when the day is here? Here are tips depending on who you are!
July 15, 2014
Article written By Shuo Xie & Kris Sankaran
New research suggests that the feedback of nonprofit clients is less biased than many think.
In the business world, collecting user feedback has become a rule of thumb. It enables companies to improve products or services, and strengthen relationships with clients. The social sector also recognizes the importance of collecting and responding to client feedback, but critics cast doubt on its validity, citing “courtesy bias”—the tendency for people to give answers they think the asker wants to hear. (more…)
July 2, 2014
In a recent blog post 7 Tips for Using Quotes for Your Nonprofit’s Content Strategy, Beth Kanter provides compelling reasons and extremely helpful tips for using quotes as an integral element in your strategy.
As the author states, “Audiences love inspirational, relevant, and timely quotes, especially if created in graphic, visual format.”
Why not expand that idea a bit and include reviews as well? Here’s a recap of the seven tips for using quotes; you can apply them to reviews as well.
July 2, 2014
In a recent blog post, Helping Kids Make a Difference, we covered simple ways to get kids involved in philanthropy and giving – ideas as simple as a peanut butter and jelly drive or fostering an animal. We’re following on to that blog post by highlighting a few Top-Rated nonprofits using our site.
Check out these top-rated nonprofits and learn how kids are participating in their volunteer activities!