All kinds of companies, organizations and enterprises are vying for media attention in today’s world and all have a compelling story to tell. But how do those in the not-for-profit space get their voices heard? After working at multiple nonprofits around the country, I’ve found that getting media coverage can be difficult no matter what, but for nonprofits, who aren’t always on the public’s radar, getting coverage becomes even harder. Here are 4 best practices to help nonprofits get noticed.
1. Tell a Story
While all organizations have a story to tell, nonprofits are often seen as sources of credible information due to the on-the-ground nature of their work. Nonprofits can use this to their advantage. Everyone knows that the best way to engage a reader is with a strong introduction, and nothing is better than a personal narrative. Not only are nonprofits credible, but part of what makes them so trustworthy is their unique ability to draw from a multitude of impactful stories that demonstrate how their work is improving the lives of real people. Any kind of interesting personal story will do the trick, successful is best – just be sure to include rich and powerful details.
2. Use all media platforms, but be consistent
It’s not all about media coverage. Social media has democratized the media space and nonprofits now have the ability to share their message with a larger audience in a multitude of ways. Social media, blogs and websites can all be used to engage an audience and highlight upcoming news and press coverage. To do so, the messaging across these platforms must be consistent, tell a compelling story and clearly explain what the organization does and why. If the content is scattered, the audience will scatter as well.
3. Stress the so what
For members of the general public and the media, the most easily understood part of what nonprofits do is why their work is important. It’s easy to conceptualize why we would want to help people in developing countries have a better quality of life, or help children in our own country get access to a better education. Protecting the environment and providing clean water and adequate food to our fellow man needs no introduction. This work has a real impact in the world and nonprofits need to be sure to clearly make that connection to the broader picture in their media outreach.
4. Offer unique exclusives
Nonprofits have access to a unique and inspiring group of people. These are the idealists, the dreamers, the part of the population that go out of their way to make this world a better place. That energy is contagious. By offering up interviews with policymakers, executives, major donors, and even those who’ve benefited from the organization’s work, nonprofits can stand out. There’s always room for a fresh and empowering perspective.