How to Pitch an Association Publication

May 25, 2010

- by Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Washington, DC

Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist

At a recent event held by the PRSA National Capital Chapter in Washington, DC, Jessica Sidman, association & nonprofit reporter for Bisnow, and Ed Dalere, Managing Editor of Association TRENDS, offered advice on how to pitch a great story for your association or nonprofit.

The discussion revealed that pitching is not an exact science, even when it comes to the nonprofit world.  Every journalist has unique preferences and it is important for public relations professionals to take this into consideration when providing news tips.  For example, Jessica would rather be contacted via e-mail, while Ed prefers phone calls.

A common theme, however, was the importance of creating an interesting story that captures the attention of a reporter.  According to Jessica, a story is great when it is interesting to people in industries other than your own.  Think about the universal appeal of your story and remember those features when writing your release.  Is your organization engaging members in new ways?  How are you addressing the top challenges that your association is currently facing?

For Ed, a great story is one that goes beyond the press release.  Make sure there are contacts on your release that are ready to provide information and to engage in conversation.  Media contacts should not only be knowledgeable about the subject of the release, but should also remember that journalists are looking for something to make their story unique.  Ed is not going to use a quote if he knows it is a generic response given to multiple publications.

Bisnow’s Association & Nonprofit news reaches more than 10,000 association professionals nationally.  It provides analysis of issues in association management, profiles on nonprofit leaders and news about various organizations through a free subscription based e-newsletter.

Association TRENDS is often called ‘the bible of the association community.’ It is a subscription-based, online weekly read by association executives, managers and nonprofit experts throughout the United States. TRENDS sponsors an annual media contest for associations and selects the national ‘Association Executive of the Year.’

For more tips on writing and sending your press releases, visit the “Support and Education” section at BusinessWire.com.


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