Learn How to Navigate the News
The digital age has completely changed the way people receive and share their news. The constant onslaught of new apps and social media platforms have the thinly staffed media departments of nonprofits struggling to keep up.
How can nonprofits ensure their messages are heard above the noise?
“Social, mobile and traditional media strategies are most effective when they work together,” says Kay-Tee Olds, president and founder of Engaging Results Communications (Madison, WI). “Too often, I see nonprofits treat media as separate silos in their media mix.”
“The Mobile Contessa” reveals how a strong understanding of today’s landscape can positively impact your organization’s media strategy.
What is the first step any nonprofit should take to ensure they are building an effective and informed media strategy?
“Planning is key. When working on implementation of media or marketing plans, it is easy to be distracted by other shiny objects. Content calendars help everyone on the team stay on the same page and keep the efforts focused on producing results that further the organization’s mission.”
What strategies can nonprofits use to improve reach via both traditional and social media channels?
“Imagine each media outlet is changing, and the audience will either change or disappear in the near future. Now, consider how to continue reaching that audience. It’s important to constantly drive audiences from one point of contact to another. For instance, if you have someone’s e-mail address, also gain them as a Twitter follower. If you are on the morning news, drive people to download your mobile app or follow your social media accounts. I sometimes refer to this as ‘borrowing audiences.’ When done successfully, this flow of traffic will increase engagement and provide security to future communication efforts.”
What steps can any nonprofit take to strengthen its nontraditional media presence?
“Prepare social media followers the same way you would prepare staff to be your advocates. Provide timely, relevant content in bite-size nuggets that link to more information. This is crucial if a nonprofit wants to make it easy for their followers to become their ambassadors. Also, remember that social media requires two-way communication. Content should naturally invite interaction.”
Do press releases still have a place in modern media strategies?
“Press releases are still valuable tools if they’re delivered to the right person. Consider forming a social media relationship directly with news teams and sending the press release to reporters as private or public messages on social media. The days of sending generic faxes are gone; deliver press releases to direct e-mails or social media accounts of people who may be interested in sharing your story.”
How can personal relationships impact a nonprofit’s media presence?
“Be valuable to news teams. You become a reliable content expert when you make it easy for a reporter to recognize your name, you are easy to reach and you share valuable information in a concise manner. Reporters don’t have a lot of time to gather content when preparing a timely news piece, so it’s important to be approachable and keep it simple. News teams are leaner than ever and are full of people who appreciate a thank-you card or a mention on social media after they’ve shared your content.”
Source: Kay-Tee Olds, President and Founder, Engaging Results Communications, Madison, WI. Phone (608) 837-5270. E-mail: email@example.com. Website: http://www.ercsms.com
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