Tips in getting media coverage for your fundraiser.
So you fundraiser is up and running. Now what? Now it’s time to promote, promote, promote! You need to do what you can to get the word out to your community about your fundraiser. It’s great to promote your fundraiser throughout the school, but you also must think bigger. You should develop a plan to promote your fundraiser to your entire community, and even surrounding communities. If your cause is worthwhile, people will want to support it. The most effective way to reach a wider audience is through your local media. Below are some tips on how to utilize the media in helping promote your fundraiser.
Write a press release about your fundraiser. The local media wants to know what’s going on at the schools in their area. Sometimes they would be willing to do feature stories on fundraising, other times they will just list announcements. Either way, get your fundraiser mentioned in the press. A press release is a good way to announce your fundraiser to the media.
Develop a media pitch for your fundraiser. What is the reason your group is doing a fundraiser? Why should the community support your cause? These are the questions the press will have for you. You will need to create a media pitch that clearly states the mission statement of your group’s fundraiser and be able to communicate your message clearly.
Identify the local newspapers and the reporters who cover the education beat. At the beginning of the semester, your groups should appoint a media liaison position. This person will be responsible for developing a media list and make contact with the appropriate contacts. Some areas have one newspaper, others have multiple options. Most newspapers have reporter assigned to your school district or cover the education beat. Identify the right contacts and remain in contact with them throughout the school year.
Think beyond newspapers. It may be a long shot, but contact the local TV and radio stations in your area. You never know what may peak the media’s interest. We’ve worked with many schools who got local TV or radio coverage for their fundraisers. Also, many newspapers, TV and radio work with local bloggers. Try to identify and contact these bloggers as well. Many of them cover local school stories and may have an interest in writing about your fundraiser. The worst they can do is say no.