Seeing our name in the paper became a regular occurrence.
Several years ago I worked for a community health center in central Florida. One of the things staff kept on saying was that we were the best kept secret in town. So I decided to try and fix that.
First, I started sending press releases to local papers, keeping in mind that the topic in the release had to be timely, newsworthy and relevant to the paper. It turned out that our local business journal (Orlando Business Journal) was running many of the releases I sent. This included information about new programs we were starting and grants we had received. It was a win-win. They got relevant information for their paper and we gained visibility for our non-profit.
Because of our regular press releases, the non-profit reporter started to think of us when there was a story about healthcare. She’d call us with a few questions and we’d provide some insight into the state of healthcare. And we’d get included in articles.
Then I started looking further into the business journal. I saw there was a section to post information about new employees. In fact, many papers have a section, often in the back, about people ‘on the move’ and new jobs. When you hire people it’s really easy to submit that information. You can also submit information about new board members. Again, they need names to post in there, so why not be yours?
An extra bonus with the business journal was the ability to learn about our business and community leaders. I continued reading the business journal faithfully. When I worked for a homeless shelter for runaway and throwaway youth, I read an article about a local business leader who was involved with another nonprofit. One sentence in the article mentioned that he had lived on the street as a teenager. We guessed that the shelter would be a cause that would appeal to him.
I reached out to him. It was a cold call. He didn’t know us, but he was interested enough to come in and take a tour. He learned more about the organization and decided that yes he did want to get involved. He became a strong advocate for us, started contributing and became a member of our local advisory council.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and submit your info, it really is a win-win. The business journal gets needed information, they need to fill up their paper, and you gain visibility for your non-profit. And, you can learn more about your community and its leaders while you’re at it.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build your nonprofit board – and use the business journal to do it, join us on December 6th to learn how to use the Louisville Business First to grow your #nonprofit by creating and maintaining relationships with corporate #donors. Click here for more info and to register. http://bit.ly/2016BusFirstSeminar