Saturday, January 26, 2008

Creative Publicity

The point of publicity is to get your organization noticed. There's no one way to accomplish this goal, but smart organizations make sure there's always a steady stream of new news to report to the press, their supporters and their peers.

One way to keep the publicity pipeline full is to create a way to systematically collect compelling, relevant and fun stories from people who have a connection to your organization. A simple "tell us your story page" on your site (check out some examples here and here) is a great way to collect stories from your supporters that you can use for publicity purposes. Encourage users to submit their stories by adding a clear call to action on the front page of your site, in newsletters, and at events.

You can also encourage people to submit their stories by subtly suggesting topics in advance. A recurring list of "3 simple things you can do" - things that don't involve standard fare like writing a check or volunteering to stuff envelopes - in your newsletter could prod someone to take action, and could generate a great future story. Some ideas for your list could include:
  1. Use your wedding to raise money for charity [services like the I Do Foundation, and Travelers Joy make this easy to do]
  2. Throw a party for a cause [see my earlier post on that topic for more ideas]
  3. Write a letter to the editor [op-ed pieces are a great way to generate buzz - see my earlier post, or check out the great CCMC primer here]
Your organization's stories are some of it's biggest assets - don't miss out on the opportunity to collect as many of them as you can.

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