I've blogged a few times before about what it takes to create a good release, and how best to send out your pitch, but it's been a while - so I'm happy to have the opportunity to post this helpful little checklist from NPT as a reminder.
I've copied the article below to save you the click, but please do take the time to subscribe to some of NPT's newsletters yourself, I often find their information incredibly useful.
Marketing ... 6 things the media really wants
The news media can help get the word out about your organization – if you know how to reach them. Press releases can inform journalists and editors about your organization and hook them for a story.
But, you should know what kind of news makes it to print before sending out a press release, according to Janet Rice McCoy, assistant professor at Morehead State University, and Jeanette Drake, associate professor at Kent State University, at Blackbaud’s 2008 Conference for NonProfits. So what are journalists looking for?
- Timeliness. It’s great to find out about a Halloween fundraiser – but not in April. Call journalists and find out how much time in advance they need story ideas.
- Magnitude. Will your information effect five people or an entire state?
Impact. Journalists want to know what will happen. If you miss a fundraising goal, do you just shrug your shoulders and try again next year? Or will it keep you from feeding 100 people? Let the journalists know what numbers mean to your organization.
- Human interest. Numbers only get so far. People want to read stories about others. See if a constituent or donor would be willing to talk about what the organization did, or does, for them.
- Celebrity. TMZ isn’t the only media outlet that loves celebrity. Known names can help make headlines – and sell papers.
- Proximity. Not all news is national. If you are a state or regional nonprofit, try to tailor news to what will happen in specific communities. If you are a local nonprofit, make sure you explain how things will hit home.
- Novelty. Everything in your organization may be exciting to you, but another fundraiser will not lure journalists – or readers. Try to find a new spin that makes your events note-worthy.