1. Think beyond the big three – We all read the Trinidad Guardian, Trinidad & Tobago Newsday and the Trinidad Express and you probably pitch to these papers. What about extending your outreach to the other publications like The Tobago News, The Westerly and online media outlets like SouthTnT or Outlish? More details on this here: 5 “New” Media Targets for NGOs in Trinidad & Tobago.
2. Try a fresh pitch – Drop the standard organizational press release for a fresh approach like a Q&A article with your Executive Director (see this post for a link to the article — 4 Tips for T&T NGOs Pulled from Media Coverage). Or what about pitching a feature story focused on a client or committed volunteer (like this one)? These stories have a higher human interest quotient and effectively draw the reader into the story about your organization.
3. Pitch to the right person – Don’t just send your press release or pitch letter to the assignment editor/desk, do a little research and find out who actually covers nonprofit or community service news. You can call the newspaper to ask or use the search function on the newspapers’ websites to determine who to target.
4. Provide pictures – Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially when they include your organisation’s volunteers and others actively engaged in service so send them with your media materials. And, you don’t necessarily need professional photographs, pictures taken with smartphones usually will suffice. Don’t forget to caption the photos and identify each person in the picture.
5. Say thank you – It sounds obvious, right? But, you would be surprised at how many organisations don’t follow up with a thank you to the reporter who attended their event or wrote a story. A quick thank you email with your contact information is all that’s needed.