State of the Media: Radio, News Services & Podcasts

stateofthemediapart2Each year, the Nonprofit Communications and Media Network (NCM Network) presents “State of the Media” programs. Due to the changing nature of media and how news is distributed, we separated this year’s discussion into two programs. In April, we discussed TV, Print, and Bloggers – click HERE for a recap. On May 18, we discussed Radio, News Services, and Podcasts.




Pictured left-to-right: Andy Weisser – Moderator (NCM Network Co-President and Communications/PR Consultant), Jeff Whittle (News Anchor, KABC Radio 790 AM), Lori Streifler (Editor, City News Service), Lee Michaels (Owner, USA Talk Network and CEO/Head Coach, iRadio Coach LLC), Lark Corbeil (CEO & Founder, California News Service, Public News Service), and Josefa Salinas (Owner, DSAW Media and On-Air Personality,

NCM Network thanks Marisol Barrios, an NCM Network Board Member, for her event recap. Her highlights follow below, and her professional details are provided at the end.

Three Important Take-Aways from State of the Media – Part 2:

Panelists from NCM Network’s State of the Media – Part 2 discussed radio, news services, and podcasts. They shared their day-to-day activities, trends affecting nonprofits, and what makes them open their numerous “pitch” emails. Program attendees also asked thought-provoking questions during the question and answer section following the dynamic discussion.

Here are three important takeaways:

Create Owned Content
New technology like podcasting is “the future and we are trying to build something that people will go to,” according to Lee. With the hopes of building on the podcasting platform, Josefa, who hosted the program at DSAW Media, said one of her goals is “to train future broadcasters and take them where broadcast is going – online.”

This topic piqued the interest of our attendees, inviting additional questions on how to do it. Creating and branding your own content is a trend from the corporate sector that is rapidly spilling into nonprofit communications. This activity will be important in promoting your nonprofit’s message and spreading its good news.

Know Your Audience
Owned content is one way to measure audience engagement. But how do you grab your audience’s attention? Jeff shared the creation of content for “Infotainment” purposes, information and entertainment made sexy to catch people’s attention. Before delving into infotainment content, know your audience. Analyze who is following you and on what channels. Create content specific to your channel’s audience.

Here’s a good example. As the director of communications and marketing at Hillsides, a child welfare provider, I know our Twitter followers are other providers, foundations, and advocates. We cater our Tweets based on their interests, which include legislative efforts, advocacy initiatives, and resource articles. Our Facebook followers are different, they’re family. They have an affinity for the work we do and are volunteers, donors, former clients, and community friends. We cater to what they would appreciate: hometown news, success stories, volunteer highlights, event information, and support group efforts.

Brainstorm Alternatives
How else can we promote the work we do with the media? Josefa said to be “creative to grab their attention.” When you draft an email containing a pitch, “forget what you need and make them feel like you’re doing them a favor so they could cover your cause.” Lark suggested that you find media partners who are still here, struggling, and want to get back in the field and work on a cause that they support.

Andy Weisser, NCM Network Co-President and program moderator, reminded attendees that, today, media is multi-platform and we need to look at all options not just one. Lee agreed, “You have to meet your audience where they live – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – AND 15 OTHER social media platforms.”

Bottom line, it’s about relationships, not only with the media, but also with your audience. “Build a list of supporters and work that list. Keep it active and share interesting stories,” said Lee. The habit of sharing content becomes a repetitive activity that will eventually reap big rewards for your nonprofit.

By Marisol Barrios, NCM Network Board Member
Director of Communications and Marketing, Hillsides
Twitter: @MarisolBarrios

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