When you're organizing a nonprofit event, you need to put in a lot of work, time, and resources to make it successful. You already know that—you’re a nonprofit leader!
But what happens after all the planning is done? How do you make sure your event reaches the right people and has the impact you want?
It's not just about having great programs, fancy giving technology, or nice decorations. To make your event successful, you also need to get the word out to the right people.
One way to do that is by getting media coverage. This means getting positive attention from news outlets or social media influencers. When people see that your event is getting good press, they're more likely to take notice and get involved—especially donors.
Whether you're planning a charity run, a community service project, or a fundraising gala, these strategies can help you get the attention your event deserves. Let's dive in and learn how to promote your nonprofit event like a pro!
How Do I Get Media Coverage for My Nonprofit Event?
There’s never a guarantee that you’ll get the media coverage you’re hoping for at any nonprofit event. There are so many factors at play—and from accidents to emergencies and other breaking-news stories, most of them are out of your control.
But if the fates are in your corner, media coverage can do your organization a lot of good.
Here’s how to get it.
Identify Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is the key to determining which media outlets are most likely to cover your event—and who, exactly, to reach out to.
Consider the demographics and interests of your program participants and your target audience. Then determine where it might fit within your local media landscape, and reach out to reporters who are covering similar topics.
Build Relationships with Journalists
Building relationships with journalists can help increase your chances of getting media coverage for your nonprofit event. Think about this in the same vein as donor stewardship—building a relationship means everything you’d do outside of the ask!
Consider inviting journalists to events that you don’t expect them to cover. Offer them tours of your site, sneak-peeks into your programming, or VIP status when it comes to volunteering with your organization.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
Social media accounts that highlight local happenings tend to have a broad reach. Search Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok for creators that take a positive community-centric approach to their content.
You might find they have a history of amplifying local events or spotlighting small businesses and nonprofits in your area. You’ll want to build relationships with them, too!
Write an Interest-Grabbing Press Release
A well-written press release can help grab the attention of journalists and frame your event as newsworthy. Make sure to include all important details about your event, such as date, location, and purpose, as well as any notable participants or sponsors.
While you’ll want to follow traditional guidelines when writing your press release, don’t be afraid to write simply and directly—communicate clearly the impact and importance of your event.
Create a Media Kit
A comprehensive media kit can provide journalists with the resources and background information they need to cover your event fully and effectively. Include high-quality photos, compelling and well-designed written materials, and anything else that will make their job easier.
Remember to include a detailed event description and agenda, as well as contact information, speaker bios, and any impact statistics you may have.
Offering journalists and media outlets exclusive access to your event can help increase interest and ensure coverage. Tours, VIP opportunities, and access to key organizational or community leaders can give them behind-the-scenes insights and unique talking points.
Don’t Forget To Follow Up!
Successful media coverage doesn’t end when your event does. The worst thing you can do after getting media coverage for your nonprofit event is go radio silent!
Be sure to follow up with the journalists and outlets who came through for you. Thank everyone involved in making the opportunity happen, and provide any additional material or media assets they may find useful.
Always treat journalists and local news outlets as valued members of your community, and you’ll develop connections your organization can rely on for years to come!