Please welcome Claire Meyerhoff — a new guest blogger here at Nonprofit Communications. Claire (whose last name is actually Meyerhoff) sees things others don’t!
By Guest Blogger
Here I am, Claire Voyant, . . . and I see a trend, people! Actually, it’s Kivi who sees things clearly by highlighting the Humane Society’s spin on the meat mess. By focusing on kids, not cows, the Humane Society got great publicity for their organization.
This is a twist on what I like to call tag-along publicity – hitching your nonprofit to someone else’s wagon. When I worked for the National Safe Kids Campaign in D.C, we wanted to publicize accidental poisonings. Sure, we did press releases and fact sheets. No coverage. Then a policy person mentioned that D.C.’s “Mr. Yuck”, based at Georgetown Hospital, was about to lose it’s funding and it’s home.
With just a few phone calls, I learned the details about their money troubles, rounded up a local family that had a good outcome because of a call to Mr. Yuck, and a TV reporter interested in the story. The next evening, the story, including an interview with a Safe Kids expert, led the local ABC’s 11pm newscast.
We also wrote an editorial that landed in the Washington Post that we got some more coverage. Eventually, the National Capitol Poison Center found a new home and affiliation with George Washington University Hospital.
If you think your organization’s mission is a story in itself (“but we do such great work!”), think again. Unless you’re making news, find some news that you can tag-along, team-up, and pitch your story that way.