Mindy Baxter of Dallas CASA
This month we are hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival and want to know how nonprofits should share progress or communicate accomplishments.
Mindy Baxter is a former newspaper reporter, but is now using her storytelling skills at Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She recently sent me a great example for the Carnival to post here as they don’t have a blog of their own.
Here is Mindy’s story:
In brief, we have an annual awareness and fundraising event called Parade of Playhouses. Children’s playhouses are on display for two weeks in a local mall, and we sell raffle tickets for them.
This was our 20th year, and we did the normal press release, social media and e-mail communications.
As a former newspaper reporter, I always remember what I learned in J-school: a man walking a dog is not news, but a dog walking a man? That’s news.
We reached out across our organization for different stories, interesting hooks, something other than “Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses is here again.” A great story popped up.
One of our playhouse builders had adopted three kids through the foster system. All three had been CASA volunteers, and he was moved by that personal experience to be a builder.
I advocated pitching the story exclusively to one reporter instead of including it in our press release. We called a local newspaper columnist who we knew had a heart for children, and he jumped.
It all ended with this lovely column in the Dallas Morning News.
The article ran on the front page of the metro section with two photos.
Keys to success in this situation were finding that unique story and then pitching exclusively to one reporter.
Thanks for sharing, Mindy!
What about you – Do you only send press releases or do you pitch specific stories to specific people in the media? Share in the comment section below!