Time to get some free publicity?

in Publicity

Tie nonprofit mission to drought for publicity

Whenever you can tie your cause into a breaking news event, you have a much higher chance of getting the media to cover your story. It’s a chance at some free publicity.

And for many parts of the country, that event is the drought and the excessive heat wave.

After all, over half of the U.S. is in some stage of drought. And thousands of records have been set over the last few months for record heat.

As Joan Stewart “The Publicity Hound” says, “News crews MUST cover the weather 365 days a year.  Many of them hate that assignment. You can help them by calling local newspapers and TV stations, contacting bloggers, and even creating your own YouTube videos tied to the weather.”

For example, is your nonprofit helping business owners whose business is hurt by the drought?

Some associations may fall into this category. Are you publishing tips; offering special educational classes; or other services to help your members?

Are you a hospital, clinic or retirement home? How is the extreme heat impacting your workload? More heat stroke cases? Are you publishing advice on how to stay safe from the heat? Or are you seeking places where people can go to escape the heat in the event of a power failure – places with independent emergency power supplies?

Stewart loves her dog so she asks, “What about the pets?” How can pet owners protect their dogs, cats and other critters from the heat? Animal related nonprofits can certainly connect with this angle.

Any advice to share with parents taking their babies for a walk in the stroller? How about toddlers?

I bet there are environmental related nonprofits who could weigh in on this too. Even things we can do in our own back yard such as sources of water for birds.

A drought of this magnitude is going to have a ripple affect. As the crops fail, who besides farmers might be impacted this winter, next year, etc.? Anything you’re doing now to help them and to minimize the impact.

Give this careful thought. Is there any connection with the drought and/or the heat wave to your nonprofit mission?

If there is . . . Talk about the weather-related problems and what your organization is doing to help. And make certain you put donors in the spotlight and how they can make a difference by supporting your cause. Pitch your story to the media. You never know what publicity coverage you might get to help your nonprofit be even more successful in fulfilling its mission.

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