This is a question I receive often. An important part of marketing is building awareness for your company or nonprofit. To the business owner or fundraiser, you dream of getting a feature story from the local news. The key is in knowing when you truly have a story that is relevant outside of your organization. Sending news releases for literally everything will earn you a not-so-great reputation with the media. Kind of like the boy who cried wolf…
So, how do you know when something is worth sending to the media and when it is more suited to your blog or social media?
Here are the top five questions to ask yourself:
- Does it impact someone or something outside of your organization? Are lives being changed (for better or worse)?
- Is it an urgent need? Will the lack of change cause an immediate harm to your organization? An example is the lack of food in a food pantry causing the pantry to close its doors — this is news.
- Does the story involve someone who is a celebrity (local or national)?
- Are you announcing a major change to your organization? Is it a “big” announcement. Examples would include a capital campaign for a nonprofit or job expansion/move for a company.
- Are you doing something new or innovative?
You do not need to answer yes to all of these questions, but you should be able to say yes to at least one. If you have a story that is newsworthy, do your homework and prepare your people before sending your media release. Gather facts, figures and folks that support your story and that the media can use in their story.
Remember at the end of the day, journalists have a job to do as well. Respect their role in communicating with the public and be willing to help as needed. If you need help deciding if something is newsworthy, putting together a media release, or prepping your team, let’s chat. I’d love to help share your story.