Often when I meet with a new client, the first question that comes up is how they create awareness of their organization to interested parties. This is usually followed up with who I know at media outlets. Unfortunately, this line of reasoning just doesn’t apply anymore.
Ten years ago, public relations work was all about calling up reporters you knew and pitching story ideas to them. This is still important, however, the growth of websites and social media combined with the seemingly consistent turnover of news staff means this approach doesn’t work that well. The decline of news coverage has left many organizations scratching their heads. With that kind of environment, what should you do?
I have always advocated that the key to success is being your own media outlet. To be your own media outlet, you need to compile stories that you spread to several outlets. Outlets include:
- Social Media
- Annual Report
- Local Newspapers (such as YourHub)
- Media Outlets (radio, TV, newspaper)
Sending a “completed” news story that is written to AP style (journalism style) rapidly increases your ability to have a news story printed. Plus you can re-purpose this story in many other ways to other outlets like those listed above.
The key to success then is finding your customers/donors were they want to be met. For some it is social media, for others it is video and for even others it is in the newspaper. By spreading your message across various outlets, you will find customers/donors that you would not have found otherwise.