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10 Tips for Media Engagement

 In Blog


On Wednesday, March 29th, The Nonprofit Partnership hosted a “Meet the Media” event as part of our Breakfast Series. Panelists from local news outlets including Rich Archbold, editor emeritus of Press-Telegram, Lisa Mastramico, Director of PadNet, Harry Saltzgaver, executive editor of Gazettes, and Keeley Smith, executive editor of the Long Beach Post, shared their insights on how nonprofits can improve media coverage and engagement.

Here are ten highlights for nonprofit-media engagement we put together from our panel’s discussion:

  1. Build relationships with the media. Go to their offices, help them put a face to your name.
  2. Do your homework. What is the publication called? Who covers the nonprofit news or community issues you are targeting? What sections of the publication cover stories similar to your organization’s mission?
  3. Give your story a voice. Tell a personalized story that links back to your organization, event, or cause.
  4. The squeaky wheel does get the grease. Send in your story, follow up, and be diligent. Most publications work with a small team and receive a lot of information. Your story or press release may be overlooked unintentionally.
  5. The media can’t use something they don’t have. There is still value in the well-constructed press release submitted along with photos and videos. But….
  6. Know your media outlet. Don’t send your press release to everyone in the newsroom.
  7. Social media is a two-way street. If you expect another social media outlet to share your content, share some of theirs as well. Send thank you through a retweet.
  8. Create a media list to quickly reach all targeted outlets at once with your press release or news story. Don’t forget to Blind carbon copy (Bcc)!
  9. Get involved even before there is a story or event you want covered. Be an expert on a current issue or topic, write an Op Ed piece. Be a part of the news before you are the news.
  10. Say thank you. Remember that squeaky wheel? It sure was quiet once it got the grease. Saying thank you after receiving coverage goes a long way.

Next Breakfast Series event: Managing Volunteers and Interns, May 24, 2016 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

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