b'DAYTODAY PR TOOLKITAmi NeibergerMiller Reaching Out to Reporters A proactive approach to getting local media attention N o one knows about us. The localprogram you set up with a college that is helping news media never cover us. This iskids in your shelter; or the 10-year volunteer who a common lament I hear when talk- always smiles and has touched hundreds of lives ing with community-focused nonprofit workers.may make great profiles. Your new building, the So how do you fix this problem?statistics youre issuing on homelessness, or the Accept that you may need to proactively5K run raising funds for your program are all reach out to the media to get coverage. Ongoinggood potential stories. outreach will produce more ink and result inLearn about their submission processes and broader awareness of your work.how to pitch or submit information to them. Websites should list phone numbers and email addresses, and provide instructions on how to submit information. Television and radio stations have assignment desks you can contact to pitch a story (see my column about the email pitch in the May/June 2021 issue of Instigate), but you could also pitch a story to an individual reporter. Many TV stations will accept video or photos, and many weekly newspapers will accept prewritten stories and high-resolution photos. Newspapers have metro desks that will receive a story pitch, but you could also pitch reporters one-on-one. Cable or community access stations often spotlight non-profits. Community blogs and Facebook pages or groups may be more free-form and allow you to just post or submit information. As you create your First, know who your local media are. Startlist of local media, include email addresses, links, with learning about your local media. Make a listdeadlines, and other information for each contact. of the community newspapers, radio stations,Respond with a spirit of helpfulness. If television stations, and online news outlets (suchreporters are interested in talking with you, as Patch, community Facebook pages, or blogs). respond promptly to their calls or emails. Be on Learn to think in terms of stories, not public time for interviews and help them find other Ami owns Steppingstone LLC,ity. News reporters are in the business of tellingsources if asked. Being helpful and truthful can an independent public relations and design practice that assistsstories and pulling heartstrings. They want togo a long way toward building goodwill with a nonprofits in sharing theirhear about the family who stayed in your sheltermedia outlet and nurturing a relationship that stories. Email her at ami@ and now is in their own apartment; the tutoringproduces stories about your work. \x03steppingstonellc.com.60 WWW.CITYGATENETWORK.ORG JULY/AUGUST 2021'