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"Nonprofit Communications Report" featured Pace University's Senior Director of Media Relations Cara Cea in "Monthly Communications Ideas For Nonprofits"


"Nonprofit Communications Report" featured Pace University's Senior Director of Media Relations Cara Cea in "Monthly Communications Ideas For Nonprofits"

How Best to Pitch the Media For Results

On Midterm Election Day, Pace University’s Westchester Campus was swarming with activity. A designated “voter van” swept across campus, delivering students and staff to the polls every half-hour in an effort to encourage more young people to practice their civic duty. Between these trips, members of the local television station, News 12, took to the streets to interview students and their professors about the importance of voting. It was the perfect local news story - timely, poignant and highly visual - and it’s no surprise that members of the media were quick to extend coverage.

“Your pitch should intersect with what you already know the media is seeking,” says Senior Director of Media Relations, Cara Cea. “Really set the stage for your media contacts by offering pitches that pop with little bits of color. Let them know what they’ll see and what they’ll be able to capture as a result of coming out to tell your story.” Cea shares how to pitch the media and get results below.

1.) Give the media what they need. “A lot of PR professionals make the mistake of pushing what they want covered, rather than looking for angles that will satisfy the needs of their covering media outlets,” Cea says. “Create a mutually beneficial partnership by crafting stories that already fit the day’s newsworthy topics.”

2.) Keep pitches personal. “Today it’s harder to capture the attention of larger newspapers with a press releases alone - you’re better off making a highly personalized pitch,” Cea explains. “Take the guesswork out of the process by providing a variety of potential angles and opportunities for supporting content like interviews, photos and video.”

3.) Paint a picture. “If we are trying to entice cameras, really paint a picture of the kinds of visuals they’ll be likely to capture at your venue or event,” Cea says. “Providing great photos with detailed captions and video to hyper-local outlets after the fact is another way to keep the coverage coming.”

4.) Scout for compelling human interest angles. Never underestimate the power of an intriguing human interest angle - get to know your community and keep your ear to the ground for amazing yet relatable stories about real people. “Powerful feature stories are those that bear heartwarming aspects or truly unique elements,” Cea says. “Stories of regular people overcoming great odds and achieving success never fail to grab the attention of writers and their readers.”

5.) Cultivate relationships. “Get to know the editors, lead reporters and beat reporters with whom you’ll be working regularly,” Cea says. After all, a personal conversation about why the story matters will go further than a mass press release sent from a generic e-mail address.

Read the full article.