5 leading tips to help your nonprofit receive local media coverage | Miratel Solutions

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5 Tips to help your nonprofit build local media coverage for fundraising events

Every year across North America literally tens of thousands of charities are aided in spreading awareness about special nonprofit fundraising events by the thousands of media outlets across the United States and Canada. The local news and other community focused broadcasting and publications can make a huge difference in letting the general public know more about your organization and learn more about the work that you’re doing.

Such publicity whether it be via television, radio or in print can help your own community understand so much about your goals and appreciate the positive difference you are making for that same local shared population. The question is how do nonprofit organizations build these media connections that improve the chances that the bright spotlight of media coverage can afford them?

I’ve done some preparatory research about how these contacts are forged and followed through upon and the result of that reading are the five starter tips below to help your nonprofit receive local media support for fundraising events.

Compare how your media outlets cover nonprofit stories – Take the time to watch over a period of time how your local media outlets tend to focus on regional nonprofit stories. Often they’ll feature a live outside broadcast on the morning of an event to coincide with ‘things to do’ at the weekend which allows a great opportunity to talk about an event on the day it is taking place or sometimes a day or two prior.

Determine the most likely media outlets to cover your organization – It does take time to research properly but you’ll find that many radio stations, local newspapers, magazines and other publications are often seeking new and interesting events to cover for their readers. There is a tendency to think of television automatically when considering media coverage but these other avenues are also worth exploring. Again you’ll need to take the time to watch the local news and community programming to see how television stations typically include nonprofit coverage.

Understand what the media needs – When you have decided which media channels are the most likely options take the time to research who are the best contacts at the station or publication. It might take perseverance and a well crafted approach to receive a response, or network with other organizations to see who they had connected to and worked with. When you have interest be sure to gather full details about what the media will require to effectively cover your story. Remember that live television or radio can result in a lot of effort for a very brief amount of coverage in terms of time so being fully prepared can make all the difference. Ideally try to create and distribute a media kit well in advance of your scheduled appearance and also include it on your website.

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Decide what sets your story apart – Every nonprofit organization is different in many ways and it’s important to show what in particular makes your organization unique. Explaining the volunteer programs and the community impact of your organization is hard to do with limited time but make your story memorable and as newsworthy as possible so that your audience will listen, learn and hopefully decide to support via donations or volunteering.

Consider how your story best ties in to local news – This might be the most important element of all when considering how best to relay information about your organization to viewers in your community. Framing the work that your organization does in reference to local news stories is an important goal if possible so give this extra care and consideration. For example, if there has been a spending cut in education locally and your nonprofit works with local schools and education authorities make that a clear benefit of supporting your organization. Above all else ensure that the message of making a local difference is a key reason for viewers to consider volunteering or donating to your local fundraising event.

Don’t forget that television and to a lesser extent radio and even print journalism are ultimately about viewers, readers, entertainment and ratings. In a perfect world it would be fantastic if our local media had time to cover the work of every local nonprofit but naturally that’s not an option, so if you do receive the chance to communicate via your local media grab hold of it with both hands and enjoy the experience.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including inbound telephone fundraisingoutbound telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery fundraising servicesdonation processing and receipting and direct mail fundraising services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all our business decisions  and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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