In February, Matter’s Open Door program conducted a free class on PR, media relations and social media for a nonprofit education organization. Below are some of the session’s best takeaways.
How can we make our announcements reach farther than our website?
Take a full circle approach to announcements in order to maximize visibility. When you issue a press release, make sure you are sharing with key contacts, posting to your website, sharing on social, and incorporating into your donor communications and presentations.
Once you secure coverage, make sure you share it directly with your volunteers, your board, your donor relations team, your donors themselves, your constituents – anyone that supports or benefits from your organization. Positive coverage will reinforce the value of the services you offer and inspire loyalty among your stakeholders.
-Sara Beth Fahey, Account Manager
How can we tell which people we should pitch, and when?
Be prepared to play the long game with the media. Building relationships takes time, persistence and patience – especially when you are just starting a PR program. Even if your outreach does not result in immediate coverage, finding a compelling reason to connect with reporters at a regular cadence generates awareness of your brand and builds the foundation for the media to remember your organization when your message is a right fit for a future story.
Also, become a master at monitoring the news. Look for inspiration from other organizations, learn more about the hot topics impacting your industry, or find new outlets and media contacts who are reporting on your space. Keeping a pulse on the news ecosystem will have your team primed and ready for rapid response opportunities and will inspire creative media pitches that appeal to your audience.
-Sage Morander, Assistant Account Executive
How can we make our content really compelling to donors?
Before, during and after your content efforts are in place, continually take time to get to know your donors and what motivated them to invest in your organization in the first place. They might have a direct connection to your group, or they benefit from the services you provide, or they engage with complementary services and organizations that can help you understand the full scope of what inspires them to act.
Share those interesting personal stories so you can attract new donors and shine the light on those that are already supporting your efforts in amazing ways.
-Loren Guertin, Account Manager
What kind of success should we expect with media?
Don’t think your news isn’t worthwhile just because it didn’t make it into the New York Times. Focus on sharing your story with the right media – the media that best serves your audience every day – which often means smaller, more niche or regional publications. Larger publications will begin learning your name when the smaller ones have started singing your praises.
-Emma Goulding, Account Coordinator
Curious about Matter’s Open Door free educational sessions? Send us an email to learn more or read more about key takeaways in our previous blog post.