Public Relations & the Media
How to Build Relations With Your Local Media
Having your story printed, televised or aired is an exciting
achievement. A story featuring
your organization increases the public’s awareness about
SIDS and infant death. This can
attract the attention of politicians, donors and volunteers
who might be willing to support
your project or take action. The National Council of Nonprofit
Associations has some
suggestions on how to interact and build relationships with
- Reporters and newspapers often specialize in writing
about certain issues and
topics. Try to contact a health editor, for example, and
read their stories. Tell the
reporter that you are contacting them because you read their
stories and have
information that could help them write a new story on your
- Build relationships with the media so it will be easier
for your story to be printed
or placed on the air. One way to build rapport is to regularly
share your insights
with reporters on stories that they have published about
SIDS and infant death.
Another way is to offer any additional information that you
feel a reporter may have omitted when covering a topic in
which you have expertise.
- Put reporters on your mailing list
for annual reports, research reports and
invitations to special events.
- Respond to a reporter’s
call in a timely manner, typically within a few hours.
a file with relevant infant mortality statistics and data.
- Become a resource for information.
- Help reporters find experts
for their stories by referring them to experts who are
good with the media and will support your message.
- Help reporters
find good graphics and images. Reporters often need charts,
photographs and graphics as illustrations for their stories.
a reporter to lunch at your organization to meet with staff,
a board member
and your constituency.
- Create and update a “For the
Press” section on
your Web site. This section should
list key contacts, highlight your mission and list press
releases and potential story
- Thank reporters when they write a story featuring your
- Send them creative story ideas and be prepared
to follow up on your suggestions if
they are accepted.
If you want to have successful relationships
with a reporter (and also great media
coverage), you need to think, act and write like a reporter.
Why? Because you will be
making their job easier. The easier a story is to write,
the greater chance it will be written.