earthdayLeveraging a news item or holiday by connecting your org to its theme is a tried-and-true nonprofit media relations strategy that succeeds at little cost. (See PETA case study).

But there’s more than media coverage to be gained in connecting your organization’s issues with a major news event or holiday. Doing so links your org to what’s already in your supporters’ minds — like this year’s 40th anniversary of Earth Day — so works well to motivate them to give or sign a petition.

Here are just a few of the many strong models of nonprofit marketing campaigns around Earth Day 2010 (via my colleagues active on the Progressive Exchange list serv. Please join us.):

  • The Media & Policy Center’s “Growing Greener Schools” will air on PBS throughout Earth Day week (check local listings).  It’s supported by a terrific new network of green school activists and initiatives, and the community building is reinforced by an e-newsletter.
  • The Green for Life video series was launched by the United Methodist Church and an action alert of Six Things You Can Do this Earth Day shared by United Methodist Women.
  • The Nature Conservancy is organizing action around its Earth Day To-Do List and needs just 110 more signatures via Facebook to reach its goal for its “Be Part of the Solution” petition. Sign it now.

More great Earth Day-related nonprofit fundraising and marketing campaigns here.

Learn more by reviewing these examples of organizations connecting with a news event for nonprofit communications success, and one of a for-profit doing so and treading on your opportunity:

Please share your organization’s strategies for leveraging news events to boost your nonprofit communications in the comments box below. Thanks much!

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

Nancy Schwartz in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, Media Relations and Press | 0 comments
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PETA's Media Relations Win Groundhog Day as Animal Rights PlatformHere’s a a fantastic model of an organization linking its issues to a major news event to generate headline attention.

Shortly before Groundhog Day, PETA took on the Punxsutawney groundhog club, heralding its call for groundhog (and more broadly, animal) rights via a blog post and press release. And PETA advocates went one step further to suggest that Punxsutawney Phil’s annual weather forecasting responsibilities be taken over by a robot.

PETA says it’s wrong that Phil is subjected to the bright lights and crowds related to the Feb. 2 tradition. Event organizers downplay those concerns and insist that Phil is beyond fine, living better than other groundhogs in his climate-controlled environment.

An extremely active conversation blossomed in comments to the blog post. And, even more significantly, major news outlets like NPR, the LA Times and the Christian Science Monitor picked up on the controversy. At this moment, 9:23 am on Groundhog Day, a Google search on “peta ‘punxsutawney phil’ ‘groundhog day'” generates 43,000 results! PETA rules.

Kudos to PETA communicators for realizing there are few days (any others?) when animals are scheduled to make the headlines and acted on it. In connecting Phil’s rights with a national event, they secured widespread mainstream and niche media coverage of animal rights issues at little or no cost. Phil’s in good hands!

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Photo: oygirl.files.wordpress / CC

Nancy Schwartz in Case Studies, Media Relations and Press, Nonprofit Communications | 5 comments
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