If you’ve been looking for an episode on how to pitch the media, here it is!
Krista Ferrara made the switch from TV news to in-house PR at HHM Health and year to date, she has put her small nonprofit in the news 45 times! This press has led to increased social media growth, new donors, and a significant jump in donations during their annual North Texas Giving Day.
Krista is giving away her juiciest tips today, including how to craft a press release that will immediately garner attention (and a response!), what NOT to do when reaching out to reporters, and the raw numbers behind her results.
Let’s dive into some pitching tips. Krista’s #1 tip?
Always keep your pitches short and sweet. You may come into a role where the organization already has a press release template and it’s two pages long. You may be really excited to talk about your nonprofit, but no one is going to read that in its entirety.
The media receive hundreds upon hundreds of pitches a day, so keep it to a short blurb and focus on building relationships. Eventually, you’ll have a list of go-to reporters.
If Krista is pitching an event, she’ll immediately share the who, what, where, when of the event, why it’s important, a short paragraph about HHM Health, and her cell phone number.
Next, consider the relevancy of your pitch. Is your pitch actually relevant right now?
Having just wrapped up election season, Krista takes advantage since healthcare is always a talking point, no matter who is running. Look at every single month and study the different holidays and events. Even the silly hashtag holidays. What are the trends of the seasons?
You can also go on Twitter and see what your local news stations are talking about.
NTX Giving Day is the largest community giving event in the nation! Last year, they raised $34,000, and this year, with Krista’s help, they raised $74,000.
The algorithm loves Instagram reels, so some of their marketing material was leveraged there. One angle was, “49% of people don’t have vision insurance.” The rest of their clinics participated with different messaging and their own unique reason as to why you should give and participate.
A month before, they launched an email every Monday to their donors, featuring a patient’s story or where the money is going to go (74 cents of every dollar goes directly to patient care).
Last year, they didn’t buy an ad, but this year, they took out two pages in the Dallas Morning News in their Giving Guide.
In total, they had over 5 hits on different news stations. There was a women’s clinic highlight talking about maternal care in Texas and an Afghan event that they invited the media to.
For a development team of 3, their results were so impressive.
Between all of the media hits Krista garnered in a year, the results were very exciting for their small nonprofit.
First, she noticed a few patients actually came in and during enrollment, they mentioned they saw them on CBS. They’ve collected emails from donors who wrote in and said, “I just saw you on the TV.”
On Facebook, their reach increased by over 1,000% and they jumped to 2,000 followers. On Instagram, they reached an average of 4,000 accounts this was a 1,100% jump from before. They got over 560 followers.
When it came to LinkedIn, they noticed an uptick in organic searches and over 600 followers. It was clear that people were seeing the news articles and clicking around. Beyond an actual TV station talking about your organization, that could turn into a Facebook Post, or an article that gets shared on LinkedIn.
Another pro tip for building momentum? Take behind-the-scenes photos and share that content! Everyone likes to see them, and that content always performs well, generating credibility and continuous brand awareness.
“Every time I take a picture of the reporter talking to (whether it be a doctor or a patient or whoever), and I post it and say, ‘tune in tonight on CBS’, I always, always get the most likes and shares and comments. And it’s like the day before I got like 4 likes or something ridiculous. So if you get a reporter to come out, definitely take the behind the scenes pics, everyone likes to see them, and they always do the best.”
“You may come into a role where they already have a press release template, and it may be two pages long, because you’re really excited to talk about your nonprofit, but no one’s gonna read that. And I’m not trying to be mean, but as a producer, you get HUNDREDS of pitches a day. So definitely keep it short and sweet.”
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