pexels-photo-518543When news outlets and other forms of media begin to pay attention to your nonprofit, and feature your stories in their broadcasts, it helps to establish your authority in specific areas. This improves your reputation and highlights your nonprofit’s particular areas of expertise and leadership. Not only can this work to your benefit by increasing awareness about your cause and making it easier to meet your fundraising goals, but it can also make it simpler to develop strategic partnerships and alliances that improve the impact made by your work. The following tips can improve your media outreach and strengthen your results.

Go Local

While media coverage that is national or even international in scope has the potential to dramatically increase the reach of your messages, you’re more likely to have luck getting your articles picked up by local and regional media outlets, so target your efforts there. Most media outlets are very open to publishing human interest stories that feature a compelling, insider’s view of the effects of various social problems in your area. Focus your efforts on researching and recruiting media contacts with your local newspapers, regional periodicals, magazines and local and regional news stations. Media sources who have published nonprofit articles or features that somehow relate to your nonprofit’s core objectives are more likely to accept your stories. When you have an idea for a story about your NFP’s work that is emotionally appealing and relevant to local and regional media consumers, contact at least 10 of them and pitch your article idea to the editor.

Get to the Heart of the Matter

Once you’ve decided on which media outlets to contact, it’s time to work on your story pitch. To be successful, ensure you boil it down to one central idea, contained in one sentence, that gets to the heart of why it would be a great feature for their publication. Follow up with a more in-depth email that contains more details about the idea, along with photos and videos that will help illustrate the main points of your story.

Make it Easy for the Editor to Say Yes

Keep in mind that editors are busy and are more likely to approve stories that will require little additional research and rewriting before publication. Make sure your article is well written, grammatically correct, and double check any facts, statistics or other sources that you use in the story to improve your chances of success.

Don’t Overlook the Power of the Humble Press Release

Regardless of how many media outlets pick up your story, don’t forget to write up a generalised version of your for your NFP’s press release. Submitting it to one of the many press release services will increase the chance that your article is picked up by multiple publications, some of which may be significant players in the industry. In addition to sending your story out to traditional media outlets, many blogs and podcasts have large audiences, so consider using a service that offers coverage with those blogs that resonate with your existing supporters.

Create a Database of Media Contacts and Update Regularly

It’s likely that you’ve already spent a great deal of time researching media publications and learning what you can about their editors and content preferences. Don’t let your time and effort go to waste! Create a list of your media contacts, along with the results of your research. Update this database regularly as various media outlets respond to your requests to initiate coverage of your NFPs happenings and events.