Perhaps you still exist in the world of the “press release.” Today any school or non-profit can create their own news and expand the reach of their work or brand with just an internet connection and the desire to share a story.
As director of global citizenship at the Hamlin School in San Francisco, I was made aware of a couple of 4th graders who held a bake sale to raise money for the Nepal earthquake relief in 2015. The work of the girls led to a school wide effort to raise funds and awareness. I quickly wrote a blog article about their endeavor and published it on my Hamlin WordPress blog site. As an avid Twitter user I have a handful of followers who report for mainstream media outlets. Laura Dudnick from the San Francisco Examiner newspaper saw my article through a tweet. Within a couple of days, Dudnick had interviewed a Hamlin student and published her own article covering the story. Dudnick’s article led to further support for the cause and for Hamlin’s global citizenship work.
Here are my easy tips for turning your school or non-profit’s work into news:
- When in doubt, blog about it. The first step is to find a story related to your organization. Some stories are big, some are small, but the only story that will never be heard is the one that you didn’t record.
- Include a great photo. This is only common sense, but think about who is in the photo and where it is taken. Does it show your organization in action? Does the photo capture key people involved with the project or event? Does the photo have a recognizable background that speaks to your brand?
- Send the blog article to people involved with the event or project. I’ve had my blog articles republished in newsletters, put into Flipboard magazines, and placed on the front page of websites, all because I sent a link to the key people involved with the work.
- Send the blog article to people not involved in the event or project. I don’t do this all the time, but most news writers and outlets have easily accessible email addresses. If you feel that your story might be of interest, feel free to send out the story’s link with a brief explanation of its relevance.
- Tweet and tag on Twitter. A single blog article tweet can land in the internet abyss. A tweet where you use #hashtags and tag potential retweeters can get your article surfing. If you post with a photo, don’t forget you can tag up to 10 people to further your reach. Also, in some cases, don’t be shy about asking your friends to retweet through a private email request.
Visit the link below to see my original blog article about the Nepal earthquake relief: