One of your 2012 New Years resolutions should be to get more media for your nonprofit.
No matter how big your marketing budget is, chances are great that you could use more exposure. More postitive exposure!
I know for nonprofits, it's much easier to fundraise when the organization is getting positive press. And it's great for donors to see people from your organization included among the experts quoted in an article. It reassures them that they made a great investment when they gave a gift to you.
HARO stands for "Help a Reporter Out." Every day, three times a day, HARO sounds out an email with dozens of information requests from journalists, TV show producers, radio shows, bloggers, book authors and others. Their site claims to send out 200 requests a day. Because of HARO, I've been included in a couple books, some online articles, and even interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. (Alas, I didn't make it into the WSJ article.)
When I started, I read each query title line by line. But I already have a fulltime job, I didn't need to make HARO one too! A hundred queries a day is a bit overwhelming. So I usually just skim the queries relying on my eyes to pick up interesting keywords the might fit me "nonprofit," "social media," "charity," etc. This cuts my HARO time down considerably and still allows for some good exposure. From time to time, friends email me HARO requests that seem appropriate.
You can also use HARO to gather information for articles you're writing. Just sign up as a reporter and post your question to the list.
If you're not signed up for HARO, I strongly encourage you to do it for 2012. I use the free HARO and couldn't be more pleased.
Reporter Connection seems to be a HARO wannabe. Rather than three times a day and hundreds of queries, this is a daily email with only a dozen or so queries. In fact, I don't think I've ever responded to a query from the Reporter Connection. But this is one of the few emails I make time to read every day.
Why? Each email has a PR tip from Bill or Steve. It could be about a TV show looking for stories; or how an author got lots of notice for a book; or even a simple tweak to your website for generating more traffic from media outlets. Today's was a quick suggestion for writing Facebook headlines that get attention.
These tips are quick and helpful. A couple weeks back, Steve told of speaking with a TV producer about how she finds guest for her show. She said she googles on the name of the topic and the word "expert." Steve's tip? Put the word expert in your the meta fields on your website! You can increase the SEO by narrowing it down with adding the field of your speciality.
These tips make signing up for Reporter Connection a must in 2012 too!
Free PR can help your nonprofit get in front of more
Those are my favorite free PR tools! What do you use?
Let us know in the comments!