Luckily, there’s a way to do it without spending a fortune or living a Kardashian-like lifestyle.
Trust me, I’ve been in your shoes. In my 9 years running a non-profit I learned the major importance of marketing when you have a zero budget.
Let me show you a little-known gem of advice I learned in my old newspaper days: newspapers, websites, television news programming and other media outlets all need news. In fact, they are dying for content, especially stories with a good local angle. Press releases are like candy to them for that reason, and because it’s low maintenance – the copy can be plugged in with minimal rewriting.
So, make your non-profit’s press release strategy a top marketing priority. Here’s how:
- Make a quick list of local and regional outlets.
- Find out who are the go-to contacts for your type of news and email them to make an introduction.
- Create a press release template that can be easily revised.
- Plan several months worth of topics you can create news from.
- Finally, try to shoot content their way a few times a month.
Your releases don’t just have to be about major events. Be creative, a good story might be sitting right under your nose. Does your program have any interesting anniversaries coming up? Any longtime volunteers have a good story to tell? Brainstorm a bunch of ideas and make it happen.
I used to have all the local newspapers loaded on my fax machine’s speed dial and it was still a tedious task because 5 out of 10 times you’d get a busy signal. Today there’s no excuse, you can broadcast your PR to all your media outlets with a single email. A final tip on this, attach photos. Statistics show 73% of reporters want photos with their press releases.
Not a writer? That’s fine. Find a college student looking to fill their portfolio with some real-life work experience. They might even work for free. Put up a note on your local Craigslist site or in one of the various freelance sites like Elance.
So you see, you don’t have to be a celebrity to enjoy media darling status for your non-profit. The bottom line here: once you create a system and schedule some topics, marketing your non-profit through press releases can be a major advantage.
Do you feel like your non-profit can use this tip? Great! I’ve got a lot of other proven ideas for marketing your non-profit on a zero budget so please share this article and be sure to contact me for more tips.