Media Relations and Press

Nonprofit Media RelationsThanks to guest blogger Mollie Katz, Multimedia Strategist at Mollie Katz Communications.

In their day, legendary journalists like Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post essentially defined the day’s news for their audiences. But today it’s a different story—Increasingly, audience interests shape journalists’ decisions on what’s news.

NBC, for example, is sharing viewers’ thoughts on the election anonymously, collecting them via text, phone, and Tumblr. The New York Times has decided “to produce a product that consumers have a greater say in creating,” according to its public editor Liz Spayd. Other examples abound, affecting news, feature, and opinion coverage.

How the News Is Changing, and Why You Should Care
This is happening because traditional media is still adjusting to the internet’s impact. Digital media has exploded with new outlets representing diverse opinions and covering an incredible range of subjects. To compete with these newcomers, traditional media outlets must stay closely attuned to their own audiences.

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Guest Blogger on July 27, 2016 in Media Relations and Press | 0 comments
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Spread the WordAsking partners, friends and fans to spread the word may be the most effective, yet least expensive, marketing method there is. So I’m always surprised that so few folks put it to work. Hope this case study pushes you into action.

The Challenge: To increase qualified entries to, and votes for, the 2015 doGooder Video Awards
Award founders See3 wanted to increase submissions to the its 9th Annual doGooder Video Awards. But, like most of us, the agency is limited in staff time and marketing budget. What to do?

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Nancy Schwartz on February 10, 2015 in Media Relations and Press | 4 comments
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Patricia-Brooks-photo-imageGuest blogger, Patricia Brooks guides client orgs to reach and motivate people through traditional and new media sources. She’s a 24/7 newshound and loves to match the right story with the right journalist.

Freedom of the press is one of the founding principles of American democracy, and the press is our vehicle for making our voices heard and driving change.

As a U.S. media relations specialist, I am fortunate to base my career on our first amendment right to press. But it breaks my heart that more Americans (and nonprofits) don’t appreciate the their power when it comes to the media.

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Guest Blogger on June 5, 2014 in Media Relations and Press | 5 comments
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Patricia-Brooks-photo-imageGuest blogger, Patricia Brooks guides client orgs to reach and motivate people through traditional and new media sources. She’s a 24/7 newshound and loves to match the right story with the right journalist.

As a media relations expert, the question I’m most often asked is whether I have strong relationships with reporters. And many are taken aback when my response to that question is often a polite version of, “I can name drop until I am blue in the face, but that doesn’t mean that I can guarantee those journalists will cover your organization.”

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Guest Blogger on March 27, 2014 in Media Relations and Press | 3 comments
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MargotFriedman-HeadShotMargot Friedman, principal of Dupont Circle Communications, conducts trainings on writing and placing opinion editorials. Please like Op Ed Talk with Margot on Facebook to share free tips and strategies.

Don’t say your opponent’s name. Don’t make the other side’s case for them.

That’s the conventional wisdom about addressing the opposition’s arguments in many advocacy contexts. In opinion editorial writing, however, the conventional wisdom may not apply.

To make your op ed more persuasive and thoughtful, consider including a rebuttal paragraph that refutes your opponent’s main argument. Rebuttal paragraphs that raise and dismiss the other side’s argument are often located after the last paragraph of the body and before the conclusion, but they can appear anywhere.

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Guest Blogger on July 25, 2013 in Media Relations and Press | 1 comment
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MargotFriedman-HeadShotMargot Friedman, principal of Dupont Circle Communications, conducts trainings on writing and placing opinion editorials. Please like Op Ed Talk with Margot on Facebook to share free tips and strategies.

There is no formula for writing an op ed. You could write stream of consciousness and it could be terrific. But for folks who like structure, two basic formats make op ed writing quicker and easier.

You may recognize the first format, the five paragraph essay, from high school:

  • Introduction ending with your main point. In an op ed, the introduction is called the lead.
  • Three supporting paragraphs backed up by evidence (e.g., statistics, personal stories, studies by experts, lessons of history, comparisons with other countries).
  • Conclusion. In an op ed, the conclusion shouldn’t just be a summary of your arguments; it should urge a proposed solution or make a call to action. Now that you’ve educated your readers about an issue, tell them what should happen next and how they can make it happen.

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Guest Blogger on March 15, 2013 in Media Relations and Press | 1 comment
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Nonprofits like yours get a big lift in credibility and visibility when covered (positively) by broadcast journalists in television, newspapers and magazines. Broadcast media still works…sometimes.

But getting the attention of reporters and editors is tougher than ever, as newsrooms shrink and beats expand. And in an age of social media, some of you question whether you should continue your focus on traditional journalists. Sharpen your media strategy via this no-charge online discussion, hosted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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Nancy Schwartz on June 12, 2012 in Media Relations and Press | 0 comments
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Guest bloggerMargot Friedman, principal of Dupont Circle Communications, conducts trainings on writing and placing opinion editorials. Please like Op Ed Talk with Margot on Facebook to share op-ed tips and strategies.

Remember those posters in your high school hallway that said, “SEX! Now that I have your attention, vote for so and so for class president?” The signs were sophomoric, but they were onto something.
Before I can persuade you, I have to get your attention. That’s why the lead or opening paragraph of your next opinion editorial is so important.

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Guest Blogger on February 16, 2012 in Media Relations and Press | 1 comment
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I’m happy to welcome guest blogger, Margot Friedman, principal of Dupont Circle Communications. Margot is an expert trainer on writing and placing opinion editorials. Please like Op Ed Talk with Margot on Facebook to share op-ed tips and strategies.

At the end of the 1990s, I worked for an advocacy organization that had more or less dropped opinion editorials from their communications strategies. It was just too hard to get op eds placed.  That may have been the right decision 10 years ago, but it is the wrong decision today. READ MORE

Guest Blogger on October 13, 2011 in Media Relations and Press | 1 comment
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Opinion journalism (a.k.a. op-eds) is an unmatched opportunity for your organization to speak through the news media directly to policy makers, your constituents and other target audiences.

This rare opportunity for you to frame the messages offers the potential to change minds, albeit usually over the course of time, with a series of op-eds. It’s an opportunity not to be missed!

But so many of you have told me that you’re intimidated by entering this realm, that I knew it was a must to outline the path to getting there: READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on September 7, 2011 in Media Relations and Press | 2 comments
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