There are at least 50 good and newsworthy reasons why you would want to send out a media release on behalf of your
nonprofit organization. Before the internet and rise of social media communications, media releases were designed specifically and exclusively for journalists. And, 90% or more of the media releases often ended up unread, overlooked and unpublished. Today, media releases posted online are available to anyone with an internet connection and an interest in whatever it is that your organization does.
Savvy PR professionals use media releases to communicate directly with their audiences including customers, donors, funders, volunteers and the media.
Here are fifty reasons you might want to send out a media release:
- To announce a special event
- To offer a local angle to a national story
- To tie in a product or service to a seasonal or national trend
- To offer advice that can help someone else solve a problem shared by many others
- To advocate for a political or industry issue that you feel strongly about
- To describe how your organization is using technology in interesting or unique ways
- To offer an interesting profile on an amazing staff member, board member or volunteer
- To acknowledge strategic partnerships, media sponsorships and joint ventures that have helped your organization
- To highlight how your organization is successfully encouraging donations
- To invite a reporter to participate in your story such as the YWCAS’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser
- To offer a tip sheet such as the top ten best ways to recycle your outdated electronic equipment or keep your heating bills down, etc.
- Take a poll or survey on an interesting controversial or quirky topic in your industry and report the results
- To announce an upcoming conference or convention
- To piggy back on a current news event for which you can add information
- Host a seminar or workshop and announce the information to be discussed
- Schedule a speaking engagement at the local library for free and notify the media
- Create a contest and offer a prize that is newsworthy
- To announce the number of hours your volunteers have donated to the community
- To recognize long serving employees or volunteers
- Send a letter to the editor of your local newspapers and send it to the media and post to your social media contacts “in case they missed it”
- To announce a new executive director, senior staff member or board of directors
- To report on a public project and offer insight to the situation
- To protest or take a position on an activity or issue
- Hold an open house where people can tour your office, plant, etc. and invite the media
- Create an award to honor individuals in the community active in the area in which your organization serves
- Host a public debate and invite the media
- To announce a fact finding trip and then report your findings
- Host a celebrity event and tie in your organization
- To announce a nomination and the receipt of an award
- To invite internships, board members and volunteer applications
- To announce a new product, program or service
- To circulate a public service announcement
- To announce the launch of a fund raising campaign
- To showcase a new website, newsletter, annual report or publication
- To post to your website’s newsroom so visitors – including the media, volunteers, potential donors, etc.) can get an instant snapshot of your organization’s activities
- To announce that your CEO is attending or speaking at a community event or conference
- To broadcast new staff appointments especially for positions that deal directly with the public, e.g. volunteer coordinator, membership manager, etc.
- To create fresh interesting and keyword rich content for your online newsroom that Google will love
- To announce a record number of participants using your service or program
- To promote a new social media connection
- To post fresh, newsworthy content to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media networks and invite readers to comment
- To announce new equipment and how it will benefit the community you serve.
- To announce a staff member or volunteer’s media interview before or after it takes place
- To announce the expansion of facilities or programs
- To promote a guest speaker you are hosting
- To acknowledge a grant or donation you received
- To celebrate the success of a fundraising campaign
- To announce the birthday or anniversary of your organization
- To form a framework for your media relations activities throughout the year
- To encourage you to constantly look for interesting and newsworthy stories within your organization
As a former journalist and now highly in demand marketing strategist and media relations expert, David Meerman Scott wrote in his ground breaking book The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directory:
Don’t just send news releases when “big news” is happening: find good reasons to send them all the time.
In his book, Scott convincingly argues that media releases provide an optimal framework for successful media and public relations activities. Researching, writing and distributing newsworthy media releases on a regular basis is a sure-fire way to increase your media coverage, communicate your news and enhance your organization’s reputation. An annual media publicity plan in which newsworthy media releases form the framework for your media and public relations efforts is the single best and least expensive way to keep your organization’s communications fresh, focused and newsworthy.