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New Communications Director Offers Media Tips

By Kayla Arnesen, APR, Director of Strategic Communications, Community First Foundation

I am pleased to have joined Community First Foundation in October as director of strategic communications. In this role, I am responsible for the Foundation’s marketing, branding and public relations activities. I couldn’t be happier to be part of such a wonderful organization dedicated to strengthening Colorado nonprofits and inspiring philanthropy.

Tips for working with the media
Nonprofit organizations are all about people and providing services to help improve lives. Therefore, the nonprofit community is in a great position to feed the media’s need for human interest stories.  The key to success is knowing when your ideas are newsworthy.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you approach the media:
  1. Is my idea really newsworthy? If you saw the same story about another agency, would it grab your attention? 
  2. Does my idea have drama or solve a dilemma? The media loves stories about people making a unique difference, people assisting others in times of crisis, and people helping children, rescuing animals, caring for the elderly, employing the physically challenged, and saving the environment. 
  3. Does my story idea have a bit of uniqueness and emotional appeal? Always develop your story around people and the exceptional things they are doing. Provide access to the local hero who saved the day and to those who have been helped. 
Do not be discouraged if your idea is rejected. Many great stories simply are not told due to staffing, timing and travel limitations. Continue to periodically present newsworthy, well-crafted, and thoughtful stories to the media. You will build credibility and tip the scales in favor of your nonprofit.


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