On the Lookout
Media begets media.
Stories aren’t told once. They’re told several times, in various fashions, from multiple points of view. Opportunity for exposure lies in being on the lookout for media at its originating point, before every angle has been exhausted. A savvy non-profit promoter will monitor stories related to her area of expertise and potential influence while stories are still emerging to harness the momentum of public interest, which can be fleeting, to share the non-profit’s message.
This process is a slow-burn, because while media are interested in telling other people’s stories, they also have egos (if they and others didn’t, we’d all be out of a job). Create a Google Alert to help you monitor who and what media outlets are discussing topics you have an interest in or expertise about. Read or watch the outlets you’d like to be featured in to understand formats and content.
My colleague works with American Dog Rescue, and monitors all topics related to dog rescue on a daily basis, whether it be individual stories in local markets, or national trend pieces written by a specific dog writer. Identifying the human (or in this case, the dog) interest story in the local market that hasn’t been covered on a national level may be the key to finalizing your pitch for presentation to a national writer because, as I’ve said before, it takes personality.
The “how” of it is another story, but before we get there, be sure you are consuming media before you try to present material to be consumed. Or in the words of William Arthur Ward, “Before you speak, listen.”