media relations

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 | 0 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.

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 | 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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Nothing is more important than communicating the right message to your network at the right place and time! And  leveraging a news item or special day by connecting your organization’s issues to it (when relevant!) is a tried-and-true nonprofit marketing strategy with a strong ROI (return on investment).

That’s why I was looking forward to the emails I expected to receive on Earth Day last week, from the environmental organizations I support and others. Earth Day 2010 had delivered so many effective nonprofit marketing models, that I anticipated some great outreach.

Not that Earth Day has been a global success in any way in mobilizing us all to treat the environment more respectfully, but it is a marker heralded broadly in the media (mainstream and not) and leveraged by many advertisers in the New York Times last week. When an issue is addressed like this, it becomes embedded in our heads. Those advertisers knew that Earth Day presented an ideal opportunity of environmental issues being as front-and-center in the news as they get and piggybacked on the day with relevant advertising. An open-minded moment.

How basic then, you’d think, that environmental organizations – tasked solely on the issues at the core of Earth day – would reach out to the network of current and recent supporters. But most organizations I expected to hear from — e.g. Environmental Working Group (marketing geniuses, in a totally genuine way), Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Club — didn’t come through. I was poised to re-up our Sierra Club membership that day, but wasn’t invited to do so. Lost opportunity!

Kudos to Catalog Choice – which sent me this email, so-so in headline but spot-on on tying its campaign to Earth Day and my open-minded moment.

Here’s how to ensure you’re poised to capitalize on notable days (holidays and other days) and headlines.

  • Develop a editorial calendar around known notable days (anything from Mother’s Day, to the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution — any day that’s notable in relation to your issue. Those days that generate mainstream and other media coverage are the priority – as they position your outreach for success by getting folks thinking about the day. Your outreach just plugs right into that open-minded moment.
  • Brainstorm around the likely news events that are worthwhile triggers for your outreach.Be prepared, before the moment of, so you can use that moment asap, when your network is open mind.

How does your organization connect its marketing to stories, news and events that are top of mind for your target audiences? Please share your experiences and recommendations here.

Nancy Schwartz on April 25, 2011 in Content Marketing | 18 comments
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2011 Guide to Nonprofit Marketing WisdomThank you for all of the questions, stories and feedback you share with me. It’s your input that makes it possible for me to cover what you need to know to increase your nonprofit’s marketing impact!

You were particularly generous last December, when I asked you to share your most important nonprofit marketing lesson or key principle learned — either from hard knocks or new found success — in 2010.

Now, drawing from your submissions, I’ve compiled the first-ever Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom featuring 127 lessons learned from your colleagues in the field. Get this free guide now to be inspired and guided!

Here’s just a hint of the practical, tested direction you’ll get from your peers in the field:

  • Make professional development and continuing learning a priority – and protect the time.
  • When pricing out an item or service, call at least three vendors. This may take a few more minutes of your time, but you will save hundreds, even thousands of dollars. We’ve been able to save so much money on production costs for printing, photography and web design, by taking the time to incorporate this.
  • Test, test, and test… before any campaign gets launched. Given the complexity of the tools today, and the speed with which we invariably put things together, errors do get made and you want to be the one to find them, not the people you’re hoping to engage!

This is your opportunity to learn from the experts to achieve stronger results in 2011:  Dive into your 2011 Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom now.

Nancy Schwartz on January 26, 2011 in Strategy | 1 comment
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2010 delivered cause-marketing shockers, highly-effective disaster relief communications, a tougher-than-ever fundraising environment and the continued emergence of Facebook, even as the basics remained the cornerstone of nonprofit marketing impact.

Here are the tools, case studies and recommendations that nonprofit marketers like you found most valuable in guiding them through this tough year:

7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit Marketing Impact with Google Analytics

10 Ways to Make Your Online Press Room Perform for Your Nonprofit

Busted Nonprofit Brand: Anatomy of a Corporate Sponsorship Meltdown (Case Study)

How to Write a Letter to the Editor that Gets Published and Read

Messaging Crisis for Nonprofits

My Top 6 Guides to Effective Fundraising—What Are Yours?

New Nonprofit Tagline Database and 2011 Report: Free and Open for Use
“These are great tools for crafting effective messages, and so easy to use,” says Peggy Kebel, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Local Funding Partnerships.

Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template—Ready-to-Use

Red Cross’ Communications Innovation in Haiti Disaster Relief Effort — Smart Stuff

There’s More to Marketing than Social Media

Unleash the Power of Your Email Signature

P.S. Get in-depth case studies, templates and tools, and guidance for nonprofit marketing  success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on January 20, 2011 in Strategy | 0 comments
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