WINSPIRE NEWS

Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising and charity auctions.

Part 3: How to Distribute a Press Release for Your Fundraising Event

Posted by Ian Lauth

How to Distribute a Killer Press Release

In part 3 of this series we talk about methods for distribution.

When you’re done writing your press release, look it over from an outsiders perspective. Does it pique your interest? Would you want to know more about the event or the cause? When you feel confident with the release, you have several options for distributing it to local media outlets.

Press Release Series

We developed this mini-series to guide you through the process of writing effective media releases to promote your charity auction fundraising event.

Part 1:  Why Press Releases Are Important

Part 2:  How to Write a Press Release

Part 3:  How to Distribute a Press Release

Build Relationships with Media Contacts

One of the best ways to ensure your press release gets picked up is to cultivate relationships with media contacts. Just like with potential donors, spend some time well before the actual solicitation - in this case prior to sending press releases - building a relationship with the right people at the news outlets in your community. Try to identify the editors and reporters who would be most interested in what you have to say.

It starts with a simple phone call or hand written letter – not an email – introducing yourself and the organization you work for. Position yourself as an expert on whatever topic your Nonprofit mission is centered around and simply offer yourself as a resource. 

Whether your Nonprofit helps foster children or manages environmental projects, explain your mission and let them know you are always willing to offer a perspective. Follow up with these people every month or two just to check in and see how they’re doing. These days, hand written letters – especially for print media folks who tend to be a little more old school – can go a long way.

During this courtship (yep – that’s what you’re doing!), don’t forget to personally invite them to any events you have, big or small, regardless of whether you are trying to get publicity.

How do you get their contact information? Sometimes all it takes is a name. You can usually find this on an organization’s website or in the publication itself. Once you have a name, you can send letters or call the front desk and talk your way through. Another way to get through is to contact the sales department who can usually point you in the right direction.

Once you’ve identified and started cultivating relationships with the right people, you now have an attentive audience who is far more likely to review your press release. You can send it to them by email or snail mail – or both! Most editors are subject to hundreds - or even thousands – of emails per week, so it can be tough to cut through the noise. After a few days it’s a good idea to follow up with a phone call or second email, but don’t pester them.

Brevity is encouraged and rewarded. It shows you respect the busy schedule of these editors and reporters.

Do not spam editors and reporters. Do not buy email lists. Do not blast your press release to the email address of every editor-in-chief and reporter you find on the Internet. You will not only be ignored – you will be shunned!

“To most of us, spam is a nuisance. To professionals who rely on email for much of their work, spam is a nightmare. Be careful that you send a press release only to those with whom you have an existing relationship.” – Mickie Kennedy, ereleases.com

Paid Distribution Sites

If you are looking for more national distribution or don’t have the time to find and nurture relationships with media contacts, you can always pay to have your release distributed. Paid distribution services, such as PRweb.com or PRNewswire, will post the release to every major news site and search engine on the web and also distribute it to journalists nationwide.

Note: Distribution services like these probably aren’t necessary or appropriate for publicizing a majority of Nonprofit events, but might be a way to showcase a major milestone or project.

For a simple release that gets posted to the web and get a general distribution, it going to cost you anywhere from $100-200 per release. For premium services that will get your release in front of premier news outlets like the New York Times, USA Today, etc., you are going to pay upwards of $350-400 for a single release.

Free Distribution Sites

If you are both short on time and on money, you can use any number of free distribution sites. While these sites won’t have quite the same impact as a paid service or sending personal queries to media contacts yourself, it’s better than nothing. A simple Google search for “free press release distribution” will yield plenty of options for you to choose from.

 

Do you have any other methods or tips for distributing press releases? We would love to hear them! Leave a comment and let us know what’s worked for you, and what hasn’t.

Use No-Risk Pricless Experiences in your Fundraising Auction

Use Winspire Experiences
in your next auction!

Sign up for a free event consultation and one of our Event Consultants will get in touch to discuss your upcoming fundraising event.

LEARN MORE →


Winspire Communications Director

About Ian Lauth

With an extensive background in marketing and design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue.

Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content,  newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals. You can also find Ian on .

Follow Me:FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Nonprofits, Press Release, Event Promotion
Ian Lauth
Ian Lauth
With an extensive background in marketing development and content design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue. Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals.

Related Posts

7 Fun & Unique Summer Fundraising Ideas

Don't let the summer fundraising slump get you down Summer is the time for us all to take a breather between the chaos of spring and fall gala season. However, we know for busy nonprofits, the need for fundraising never quite goes away, even as donors go on vacation and the team gets a well-deserved break. 

Update: An Enhanced User Experience for Winspire Fundraising Software

If it's been awhile since you logged on to your Winspire Fundraising account, next time you start a new campaign you may notice the set up experience looks a little different. We've made some changes, with you in mind, to our experience set up. Users will now be able to better distinguish between fundraising campaigns for specific causes, and one-time events!

Strategy that Can Double & Triple Revenue from One Auction Item

Consignment travel packages can be extremely lucrative for your nonprofit, providing the ability to sell incredible trips multiple times, at no risk to you or your organization. Doing so benefits your event in three ways: Increase revenue: Double, triple, or quadruple your profit on a single package. It's a win-win: Making Bidders happy means making your nonprofit happy. Capture secondary bidders: Why have one winner when you can have multiple? Having more than one of the same auction items means there is no second place. Doubling up enables your auctioneer to capture additional revenue from more people.   It's easier to pull off than you might think! There are unlimited ways to sell multiple no-risk consignment travel packages at any point of your event timeline—before, during, and after—that doesn't take any extra procurement on your part and costs nothing if items do not sell. Read on for the strategies our nonprofit clients have used to double, triple, even quadruple their revenue on a single package to raise a lot more for their cause.