How to Get Reporters Interested in You: Cut the Bull
Last month, Claire Meyerhoff called to interview me about nonprofit storytelling for some articles she is working on, and we ended up having an hour-and-a-half chat about how hard it is for so many nonprofits to get press coverage, even though they have such great stories to tell.
We shared all kinds of theories about why this is true, and one of Claire’s points was really on target: Nonprofits need to cut the bull! Blathering on about your wonky mission statement, the infinitely deep root causes of a problem, and the complicated system-wide solutions required just doesn’t work for print reporters who need to think in terms of hundreds of words, not thousands, and TV journalists who can give you only 30 seconds of airtime.
I was so impressed with Claire’s down-to-earth perspective that I asked if she’d be interested in doing a teleseminar with me. Then she told me a bit more about her history and I couldn’t wait to host this event.
If you can spare $20 for some great media training, here’s where you should spend it:
It’s next week’s Nonprofit Marketing Guide teleseminar (in other words, it’s a toll-free conference call) on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (11:00 a.m. Pacific). Gather ’round the speaker phone — as long as you are all from the same organization, $20 buys training for your whole staff.
Here’s what you should know about Claire, and why I was so eager to introduce her to all of you. Claire is a communications professional who has spent twenty-something years spreading the word with no muss and no fuss. As a news writer in CNN’s Washington bureau, she took complex stories and honed them into :30 worth of copy fit for Judy Woodruff and Wolf Blitzer. She also helped the National Safe Kids Campaign make the CBS Evening News — and I’ll have her share the story about why that wouldn’t have happened if she had done what the “higher ups” wanted her to do.
She has also reported on Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath on XM Radio’s “Red Cross Radio” channel, and she wrote and narrated an award-wining video for Ronald McDonald House of Durham, NC. Simply put, Claire gets nonprofits and on Wednesday, she’ll help you get the media.
I’m calling this a “Hot Seat” interview, which means I’ll spend the first 15-20 minutes of the hour-long call peppering Claire with some good, tough questions. Then it’s your turn. You can submit questions in advance and during the teleseminar via email to ask AT hotseatquestions.com or send them in via AIM to hotseatquestions.