Media coverage is a powerful tool for advertising both your organization, your need, and your group’s fundraising efforts. Press releases are powerful tools you can use to inform interested media of your upcoming and ongoing fundraising events.
The difficulty with press releases is that media resources are inundated with them; this can make it hard for you to get your press release and your event noticed and covered. However, there are some ways to increase the probability that your event will be featured by local media professionals.
Tips For Media Coverage Success:
Pick and choose media outlets
Media outlets thrive on meeting the needs of their target audience. You can increase your appeal by submitting press releases to publications and productions that target an audience that has an interest in your event. For example, if you are holding a children’s carnival, submit the event to parent’s magazines, or calendar/events department of a local newspaper.
Tie in a larger angle
Your event is of high interest to you, but for wider appeal you need to think on a larger scale. You will succeed at engaging readers and viewers, and thus media attention, if you can tie your event into a larger issue. For example, you might focus on climate change and explain what your group is doing to help the cause. Play your event as the local response to the global crisis. Make the large issue the real story and your efforts secondary to it.
Be prepared for media professionals
Your fundraising event might still not be covered if a reporter arrives and finds nothing to work with for their story. Designate a coordinator or spokesperson for your group and your event; make sure that person can easily be accessible whenever the media arrives. Choose someone in the group who knows your organization, knows the details of your fundraising campaign, and knows about the larger issues facing your organization. Be sure this person is well-spoken and can speak in a way that the reporter and his or her audience can appreciate.
If you can, contact the publication, broadcaster, or (best yet) the reporter and politely inform them that you will be sending them a press release for your event. Talk up your organization and your event a bit; without overdoing it and being too pushy, of course. By doing this, you help move your fundraising press release to the top of the stack, increasing your likelihood of being selected, and you know you’ve done all you can to better your chances of obtaining a very powerful, free, fundraising media coverage tool.