Each year, the Nonprofit Communications and Media Network presents “State of the Media” programs. Due to the changing nature of media and how news is distributed, we have separated the discussion into two programs this year. The first program scheduled for April 20 featured TV, Print, and Bloggers; and the second program scheduled for May 18 will focus on Radio, News Services, and Podcasts. SEE EVENT RECAP BELOW PHOTO AND PANEL LIST!
Panelists left to right: Frank Pine (Executive News Editor, Southern California News Group), Teresa Samaniego (Vice President of Diversity & Community Relations, ABC7), Olivia Campos-Bergeron (Community Relations Director, KCBS2/KCAL9), Farrah Azizi (Director and Blogger, Starfish Impact), and Diane Manuel (Philanthropic Leader Profile Blogger).
NCM Network thanks Carrie Sullivan, a seminar attendee, for her event recap. Her highlights follow below, and her professional details are provided at the end.
Some Do’s and Don’ts from State of the Media – Part 1
Part one of the NCM Network’s “State of the Media” annual program was held on April 20, 2016, at ABC7 in Glendale. In today’s changing landscape, it isn’t enough to have content just for television – today, content is needed for all platforms. So while there’s an endless need for content, there are many people and organizations to fill the need. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help your organization stay on the right path.
Be Organized: Media outlets want to know that they’re sending their talent to a nonprofit that is well-run and professional. Keep your website up-to-date and be responsive with your media communications – whether by phone or email or both.
Ask Vital Questions: What are some measurable outcomes? What trends are developing? What issues can we address? Do we have an initiative that is robust in both mediums of TV and digital?
Build Relationships: To create more potential points of contact with people in the media, try researching who is active in the digital space. Now, with social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, there are multiple places to connect with others. Don’t wait until the week of an event to try and build that relationship, begin months or even a year in advance.
Get Personal: In the days of technology where accessing information is possible with the click of a mouse, we lose the sense of being personal. Don’t. When reaching out, your emails should be very personal and tailored to how the individual could get involved. Ask yourself, how does this event cater to a talent’s interests?
Get Creative: The days of sending a pitch via fax or snail mail have gone the way of the dinosaur, so be creative! Olivia Campos-Bergeron from CBS2/KCAL9 shared an example of a memorable item she once received: a PSA on a DVD was accompanied by a package of dried fruit – from a nonprofit promoting emergency preparedness. Everyone in the audience will likely remember this example.
Demand Media Coverage a Week before Your Event: If you have an event where you want media coverage, remember the magic number “60.” Sixty days is the minimum when your media outreach should begin.
Be a Bully: Don’t call, call, and then call some more. You and your nonprofit will not make friends in the media if you constantly harass the people you want to cover your events. Instead, be honest when reaching out. Explain your needs, and if your event is a week away, members of the media might be more inclined to help due to your honesty, rather than your abrasiveness.
Skimp on Research: There’s nothing more embarrassing than reaching out to a media outlet and not knowing your stuff. Do thorough research of who you are calling, what niche they cover, and what outlets they are responsible for to improve your chances of working together.
Have Unrealistic Expectations: If you have an event that needs a member of the media as a master of ceremonies or speaker, asking him or her to be present all day is unrealistic. Know the timeline for the day and the critical time frame requiring the media rep, and you just may be surprised if the talent chooses to stay longer.
By Carrie Sullivan, Board Member, AUFA