As common a plight for non-profits as it is for the for-profits is how do we get the traditional media to cover our great new thing. Heck, we’re trying to help people here – do the right thing and cover this effort you ink stained wretches.

It’s frustrating and as many of us can identify, it can be tough as nails in a reource-starved and distracted media world. Twelve key perspectives were shared during a recent Wikicause #wikichat that we host monthly, shared below for your review:

wikibrands Q3 – Newsmedia/PR – How do journalists perceive the charitable sector? Is it accurate? And whats effective in grabbing them? #wikichat
1) Get Tone of Outreach Right @melcollett:  I’ve seen charities be too timid to help shape the story they want told when working w/ journalists  @GreggMcLachlan Journos skeptical of hidden agendas. If you are confrontational, more likely alternative view will be sought to COUNTER you.

2) Localness @YMCA_Canada Local stories featuring community members tends to grab media/PR, have stories that add value for audience

3) Simple, Simple @chwadhwani Well established group doing great work having huge impact isn’t news. You have to be a layman and/or be corrupt to get media!

4) Anticipatory @PlanCanada Agreed. Also need to build relationships w/ journos before stories break

5) Relationship Building @Ceebie I also think it has a lot to do w/ building relationships, knowing what a good story is, and being a go-to for journos @Sandra_Scian when charities are proactive, journos are great. when journos are left to make a story, well…

6) Ambassadorship @KidsHelpPhone Depends on the journalist. We try to build relationships with journalists who are Champions for us and have benefitted.

7) Focus on the Story not the Costs @canadahelps Many journos focus on controversy “high admin fees” “high salaries” etc… not on the positive stories of charity impact @lamiki Agreed. So how can we switch their attention from the numbers to the story or the impact? @canadahelps Focus on impact. There’s much work to be done educating public re: admin fees & why that’s not the right measure
8) No BS @Ceebie I think @NatureConsCDA‘s non-confrontational and business-like approach to our work gives us a lot more credibility w journos

9) Issue Based Expertise @PlanCanada We have many issue experts who can provide insight and first-hand accounts and this has been effective in getting coverage  @yazmaziar Our HSF funded researchers are highly respected and knowledgeable ambassadors of cause.

10) Media Specificity @MrsMcDowall Again we just tried for the 1st time in June. Radio and online most interested. Print, not so much 🙁

11) Supporting Materials/Footage @ corinnerd Need a gal on the street perspective traditional media is less likely to be interested in your report if no B roll

12) Do Your Homework @TLC4BC Reesearching journalists with a beat related to our mandate has been successful. being trained as a journalist helps immensely  @GreggMcLachlan Get to know the #journos who cover you so you can read them like a book 😉 @PlanCanada About half of our comms staff has a PR background

Any other time-tested methods to push and pull your stories to the key media influencers? We’d love to know and share…

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