Monday, December 20, 2010

The Key To Selling Non-Profit Stories: Find a 'News Peg'

There are so many worthwhile programs and causes out there. Every day, selfless people give of their time and resources to make the world a better place, but for the most part, these organized acts of kindness take place in obscurity.

Unless you have a good PR Man (or PR Woman, of course).

When you are working with a non-profit or charitable organization, getting the media interested in covering their good work often requires some creativity. It's not blood and guts ("Clerk shot dead in convenient store robbery") mayhem, death and destruction ("Three-alarm fire leaves dozens homeless"), or something totally off the wall ("Man bites dog"). It's just good folks doing good work. Not something the media is usually interested in. (As a grizzled old editor of mine once remarked after reading my copy, "There's no sex in this story!")

The best way to sell these otherwise overlooked stories is to find a "news peg," something timely that relates to the tale you are trying to tell - a milestone, a statewide or national observance, a policy change or a trend. Clients always think their stories are interesting, but the challenge as a PR communicator is to find a way to make it interesting to a majority of readers or viewers. (See "The Media Wants Stories, Not Announcements") That's where the news peg can prove invaluable.

Remember, a story is not newsworthy without news.

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