What’s Your Point of View: How to Get More Mileage with Your Nonprofit’s Press Releases
For most of us working with nonprofits and mission-driven organizations, we spend our time focused on the agency and how we serve. We’re immersed in daily meetings, budget constraints, regulations, and to-do lists. So when it comes time to crank out another press release touting a program or promoting a fundraising event, it is no wonder that they often come out a little dry.
Cranking out a matter-of-fact press release doesn’t have to be your fate, even if it is on your list of 30 “must accomplish” items for the day. Next time generating a release for the media is a top priority, try one of these tricks for making your nonprofit’s top news a little more juicy.
- Become a poet: Well, you don’t have to actually become a poet, but do try to channel your inner creative writer. Include all of the pertinent facts in your press release, but also try to jazz it up a bit with some inspired creative writing. A well- placed metaphor or catchy turn of phrase can be just the spice you need to have the media savoring your latest news and sharing it with the community.
- Think like a reporter: Ever heard the phrase “a nose for news”? Reporters are trained throughout journalism school and early in their careers about what constitutes news. They sift through countless press releases each day and have to make rapid decisions about what is in and what is out for their media outlet, whether it be newspaper, TV, or blog. So, be sure you think like a reporter when you’re crafting a release for your mission-driven organization. A press release that includes accurate facts as well as a newsworthy hook has a much better chance of being picked up by your local news outlets.
- See like your donors: Shifting how you see your work can help you write a media release that really sings for your target audience. Are you telling your story from the perspective of an overworked employee? If so, some of the magic that happens in your nonprofit might be getting lost in translation. Step back. Pretend you are a potential donor or volunteer for your organization and look at your news through those eyes. Now write your story in a way that engages the emotions of those people who can help support your mission.
Next time you need to announce some news or promote an event for your organization, take the time to shift your point of view before you sit down to write the first draft. Just a little change of mental scenery can make your nonprofit’s news more attractive for reporters and readers, and that could make all the difference for your organization.