Ask Yourself ‘Who Cares’ Before Pitching Media

If you’re looking for more exposure and publicity in the press for your nonprofit, learn how to think like the media, said Sandra Beckwith of Beckwith Communications in Fairport, N.Y.

The trick to getting your name out there is understanding what the media – the editors, producers and reporters you contact – see as newsworthy, she said in her book, “Publicity For Nonprofits: Generating media exposure that leads to awareness, growth and contributions.

A basic tenet of publicity is that your information has to be newsworthy, explained Beckwith. Your job is to send information to the media that is newsworthy; it’s up to them to determine what they think is newsworthy.

A good place to start is examining something you think might be newsworthy is by asking yourself, “Who cares?” For something to be newsworthy, it must appeal to a broad, or particular, audience, not just you.

It’s important to study your targeted media outlets. The degree of newsworthiness might depend on what medium you’re pitching. What’s newsworthy for a newspaper might not have the same appeal to radio or television stations, a niche magazine, or a blog.

Organizations often face two challenges when identifying what they do that might be newsworthy. First, management generally thinks everything is newsworthy and deserves a news release. Another is that there’s plenty going on that could give your organization media attention but no one’s telling you about it.

When you’re not getting information you need, Beckwith said it’s usually because people with the information don’t know it has news value or the organization lacks a system for sharing news and information on a regular basis.

courtesy The NonProfit Times