It’s the fourth and final day of Media Relations Week here at Nonprofit Communications. Since I skipped Monday, I’m answering two reader questions today.

But before I do that, I have a little favor to ask. Can you please help me decide what I should put on the webinar schedule this winter? If you haven’t weighed in already, please tell me which nonprofit marketing topics you are most interested in via this quick survey. Five free webinar passes are up for grabs for completing the survey.

Here’s question #1:

“How do you decide on ‘talking points’ when talking to the media?”

~ Alesha Mathis, Middle Georgia Community Action Agency, Inc.

It all goes back to “what’s news.”

Figure out your main point – What is the one thing you want people to know? How would you like the headline to read? Then support that statement with important details. Your talking points are really just your pitch, with some details added in. Put your talking points in order of importance, so you get the most critical information out there first.

(And congratulations, Alesha, you won the drawing for a free webinar pass for submitting a question this week! I’ll email you the details.)

Here’s question #2:

“I know there should be the standard boilerplate about my organization at the end, if anyone wants more information, but when we are a relatively unknown organization (with little or no brand recognition) and we launch a program in a new state, it seems like more background has to be in the body of the press release or it doesn’t make sense. Also do people want to hear more about who we are helping, or who worked so hard to make it happen in the new state?”

~ Andrea Umbreit, Smiles Change Lives

And my answer:

Always lead with the news angle, regardless of how well-known you are. The new things you are doing are going to be more interesting than the details about your organization. Talk about the good work, then introduce yourself. As for who should be the focus, I’d lean toward the people you are helping. If some volunteers brought about the new program and they have really good stories to tell, you could lead with them. But you want to stay away from anything that sounds like you are just trying to publicly thank people for their hard work or to pat your own organization on the back. That’s not a good news angle.

Published On: September 5, 2008|Categories: Newswriting, Writing Skills and Content|