August 22, 2006
Nonprofit Publicity Tips Online and Offline
If your nonprofit is strapped for time, money, or both, follow these 10 tips for generating thousands of dollars in print, broadcast and online publicity.
- Create one-page press release templates for frequent news items such as new employees or board members, events you’re sponsoring or hosting, or when you’re searching for volunteers. Then simply fill in the blanks.
- Write letters to the editor and op-ed columns for local, regional and national publications. Always adhere to their length limit, and submit the author’s photo. (See "How to Use Newspaper & Magazine Editorial Pages.")
- Call talk show hosts at radio and TV stations and offer to have someone from your staff fill in if a guest cancels.
- National Public Radio can be a great resource for nonprofits. Go to their website at and use their search box to see which NPR programs have aired programs about nonprofits. (See "How to Get Booked on National Public Radio")
- Create one show, or an entire series of shows, for your local cable TV company’s public access channel. Air time is free, and you can usually rent the camera equipment for a small fee.
- Regularly publish "Top 10" tips lists (just like the one you’re reading here) that explain how to do something, or solve a problem. Include the name of your agency and contact information at the end of the list. (See "Special Report #16: How to Write Tips Sheets That Catch the Media's Attention.")
- When pitching a story, suggest other sources who reporters can contact and who you know would agree to be interviewed, along with contact information. This makes the media’s job easy.
- Use Google Alerts to find out which media outlets are reporting on topics associated with your nonprofit. Then pitch ideas to those media outlets, or respond to the stories.
- Create a blog and post items several times a week. The search engines love blogs, and blogs pull traffic (including journalists) to your website. Also, post comments on other blogs devoted to your topic. (See "Blogging for Business")
- Write 500-word "how-to" articles for article directories such as EzineArticles.com. Editors and publishers frequently use these directories to search for content. (See "How to Write How-to Articles for Newspapers, Magazines & Trade Journals.")