How to Find a News Angle to Promote Your Nonprofit Fundraiser
Think about all the angles you can exploit for publicity for your nonprofit’s fundraiser. Try to look at it from the point of view of every section of a newspaper or newscast. Modify your basic press release to suit the content of appropriate newspaper and magazine section editors, producers of radio feature shows, and TV newsrooms. Follow up your mailed release with a phone call. A few possibilities include
Entertainment section coverage of performers. You may be able to arrange interviews between your special guests and the local entertainment press that can run on radio, television, or in the newspaper prior to your event.
Business section coverage of your event chair or honoree. Many papers run a column of activities of local business and corporate leaders.
Feature stories about the community improvements that your agency has helped to bring about.
Food section coverage of your picnic lunch or outdoor benefit concert.
Health advice connected to your event. If your organization is sponsoring a 10K run, what’s the current advice about dietary preparation for long-distance running? Any medium can be appropriate, but what about a feature in a runners’ magazine?
Society page coverage of your honorees, event committee members, or other guests at your event.
Radio broadcast of your honoree or guest speaker’s speech.
Fashion page or television coverage of attire worn to your gala.
Coverage in a small newspaper. Many communities have newspapers that are focused on particular neighborhoods, suburbs, or cultural groups. Are any of your honorees, performers, or special guests from those communities?
Printing posters that announce your event or sending personal invitations by mail is more expensive than sending out press releases. But these methods have the advantage of being direct. You can mail invitations to the right individuals and post your posters in high visibility spots in the right neighborhoods.
The mass media need great gobs of news, announcements, and other content every day. You can get some video and TV exposure if you, for example:
Prepare a prerecorded public service announcement (PSA) for broadcast by radio stations.
Donate free tickets to your event to radio stations to use as prizes of various kinds. If a station picks up on the idea, you get a free mention — maybe a number of free mentions.
Invite live weather or traffic reporters to cover conditions from your location. It can be a novel way to draw attention to your event.