True or False? A Quick Guide to Understanding Journalism Ethics

If you handle media relations for your nonprofit, it’s important to understand the rules that govern professional journalism. These rules might appear quaint in this age of partisan cable networks and opinion-based websites. But, believe it or not, most reputable news organizations are still working under the idea that journalists should be responsible with the information they gather…

Where Should I Pitch My Nonprofit’s Story?

Many nonprofits use the “spray and pray” technique when they are pitching their stories to the media. They spray their pitches everywhere and pray that somebody picks them up. But if your organization is interested in having its messages connect with your ideal audiences — and if it wants more success landing meaningful media coverage — it’s…

What to Do When the Media Gets Your Story Wrong

There’s an adage in public relations that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But while this might be true if you’re a celebrity or a political candidate, bad publicity can have dire consequences for nonprofits. When you manage the reputation of a nonprofit that is working to advance an important mission, incorrect information — particularly if…

5 Ways to Get the Media to Cover Your Next Event

Nonprofits spend countless hours — and considerable money — to stage gala dinners, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, and other events that aim to draw attention to their work and rally their supporters to give to their organizations. Quite often, they also expect these events to generate media coverage. And, quite often, they are disappointed when their events…

A Simple Guide to Injecting Colorful Quotes Into Your News Release

When your nonprofit sends a press release to a reporter or editor, it’s immediately facing stiff competition for coverage. Journalists can receive hundreds of releases each week — and depending on what they cover and who they work for, they only have time to cover a handful of stories. With that in mind, you have to do…

Why Ignoring GuideStar’s Profile Pages Damages Your PR Strategy

Effective media relations isn’t always about proactively pitching your organization’s story to reporters and editors. It’s also about making sure you are curating the right information in the places where reporters hang out to gather information. Recently, we explored why it’s important to create a reporter-friendly online newsroom on your organization’s website to help ensure…

How a Small Nonprofit President Got a Big Spot in The New York Times’ Room for Debate

It’s more difficult than ever for nonprofits to get media coverage. But it’s not impossible — especially if they are willing to do more than pepper news editors with press releases. As the communications manager for a small education nonprofit in Bethesda, Md., Juliana Avery has sent her share of releases to the media in Washington…

Nonprofits @ the Oscars: How to Photobomb, Newsjack and Steal the Spotlight at the Academy Awards

Nonprofits, are you ready for your moment in the spotlight? The 88th Academy Awards air Feb. 28 and the world will be watching. (Also, some of the world WON’T be watching, in an #OscarsSoWhite protest over the lack of diversity among nominees in the top acting categories.) Watching or not, film will be the center of…

The 5 Things You Need In Your Nonprofit’s Online Newsroom

When nonprofit communicators think about media relations, they often focus on proactively pitching stories and reaching out to reporters and editors. But effective media relations isn’t just about pushing our story ideas on unsuspecting reporters. It’s also about being ready and responsive when a reporter or editor is already pursuing a story. Being responsive isn’t just about being…

More Than Words: Why Visuals Are Critical in Pitching Your Story

If you have been reading our blog the last year, you will probably recognize Peter Panepento. Peter is the principal at Panepento Strategies, a full-service content, digital, and social strategy firm for nonprofits and socially-minded companies. He was formerly an assistant managing editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy as well.  We are excited to announce…

Nonprofits Should Play Offense, Not Defense, to Improve Reputation

When being criticized, do you get defensive and go on the attack? While standing up for your cause isn’t a bad thing, Peter Panepento talks about how a proactive approach with transparent storytelling is better in the long run. ~Kristina Guest Post by Peter Panepento of Panepento Strategies When was the last time you changed a mind…