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More tips on pitching the media, from GCN’s 2016 Nonprofit Media Summit

We had another full-to-the-brim informational extravaganza for GCN members at WSB's Family 2 Family Nonprfoit Media Forum last month. Here are just a few of the tips that a panel of media veterans offered nonprofits for successfully pitching and working with them. Need more? Check out our three-part review of last year’s event.

The panel

Jocelyn Dorsey | Director of Public Affairs & Editorials, WSB-TV Channel 2
Lacey LeCroy | Senior Assignment Editor, WSB-TV Channel 2
Jennifer Grove | Public Affairs Multi-Platform Producer, WSB-TV Channel 2
Condace Pressley | Manager of Programming Operations & Community Affairs, News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB
Sonia Edwards | Senior Marketing Coordinator, The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Jewel Wicker | Digital Arts & Entertainment Reporter, The Atlanta Journal Constitution

What to keep in mind

The media are people too: Get to know them.

Pressley: It’s all about relationships. The better we know you, the more we’ll go to you.

LeCroy: Reach out to let us know when you have experts for a story, and let us know about your on-hand experts.

Sending your news never hurts, but make sure it’s timely, complete, and succinct.

LeCroy: When you send us information on an event, give us the who, what, when, where, why and how at the top of the email. Make it copy-and-paste friendly. Let us know at least a week ahead of the event, and earlier if possible. Call to follow up the day before the event or the day of. If you have a relationship with a reporter, feel free to send it to them in addition to the assignment desk.

Grove: That said, direct your email to a single person. If I see multiple people on an email, I’ll assume someone else is taking care of it.

Dorsey: If we know about your event far enough ahead of time, we can plan for it.

LeCroy: If it rains on your event, but it still did well, send us photos. We might be able to use it. We like weather stories.

Wicker: Go ahead and shoot video to send to use. Share video and photos with us via a Dropbox link. You can attach up to two photos to an email, but no more than that.

Grove: If you’re located far from us, but still in our viewing area, it’s best to send us a video. We like to cover things from all over, but don’t always have the time to travel there. Sending us video helps increase the chances that we can cover it.

Make sure your website is current, and use social media.

Lecroy: Google your organization, because that’s what we’ll do. Make sure the pages that come up have current information.

Dorsey: If it doesn’t look accurate, or we can’t find you, we’ll be nervous about who you are. Date your data online—we need to know how current the data is before we can use it.

Wicker: Keep the contact info on your website current and clear, and include an “experts guide,” detailing your organization’s experts, on your website as well. Tag us on your social media accounts when you have a story to pitch. If you’re not active on social media, get active. Consider getting a volunteer college student, or hiring one to help.

Respect the logo

Edwards: Use the logo we send you. Don’t pull it from our website—there are different specifications for different uses. 

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