Last week I gave a short talk at a statewide conference for the United Way. If I had to pick one slide that summed up my talk, it would be this one:
As Claire Meyerhoff, who was also on the panel, put it, you can spend a whole day writing a press release and trying to get a reporter to use it, and get nothing. Or you can spend that time creating your own content, using it in several different places, and having it work for you for months to come.
Nonprofits are no longer dependent on the media to get their messages out beyond their inner circles, and yet so many groups are still fretting about whether to double-space a press release. Traditional media still plays an important role, but it’s not what it used to be.
Instead of thousands of newspapers landing in the driveways of your potential supporters, you should be looking at ways to generate thousands of messages from members of your inner circle to their own inner circles, talking about your cause, using everything from email to social media to do it. The tools to make that happen are now easy and inexpensive. Anyone, or any nonprofit, can be a publisher, broadcaster, and media mogul.
For those of you who are really ready to dive into the social media components of this in particular, check out NTEN’s We Are Media wiki.