Does your nonprofit website tell journalists that you’re ready for prime time? In today’s media world, reporters are under a lot of pressure to find and publish stories on tight deadlines and limited resources. If anyone could relate to that, it’s nonprofit marketers like you! Let’s make it easy for both the media and your nonprofit by creating a compelling press page on your site.
A good nonprofit press page (a.k.a. media center or press room) helps your organization demonstrate its leadership and approachability when a reporter comes calling. And, while it doesn’t happen overnight, being the go-to source for reporters comes with a lot of perks! In addition to reaching new audiences and reinvigorating supporters, media coverage plays a role in building links to your website and showing search engines that you (and your site) are a valuable resource.
So what should you include in your press page? Review our checklist of core features and nice-to-have content that journalists are looking for.
Press Page Core Features
Start with the basics and create a press page that offers the following information:
- Contact information. Include at least one main point of contact for media inquiries and their phone number and email address.
- Background information. State your mission and vision and include the most recent data about your impact, including fact sheets and annual reports when possible. Avoid copying and pasting from different places so that your content is brief and customized to your audience.
- Important links. Building on the previous item, also provide links to other important pages on your website, like Financials, Partners, FAQs, History and your blog.
- Boilerplate language. While this typically goes at the end of press releases, it’s helpful to include it separately to help reporters quickly and accurately describe your organization. Second Harvest Heartland provides their boilerplate as a PDF download in their press room.
- Recent press releases. Although not as popular as they used to be, press releases help showcase important milestones and could spark a story idea or provide additional background information. If you post press releases on your blog, linking to those posts is a great way to include them here.
- Multimedia files. In addition to logo files, provide spokesperson headshots and mission-related photos and graphics that are approved for distribution. B-roll video clips are also increasingly in demand for online news. Embed them directly or link to the files on Box, SmugMug, Google Drive or a similar free service.
- Downloadable media kit. Offering a summary of the above information in a downloadable PDF format or compressed file helps reporters do their research and accurately portray your organization.
Ready to impress? Here are ways to improve your press page with additional content:
- Spokesperson summaries. Feature your experts by including their names, titles, a headshot and their core areas of expertise. You could even link to their especially impressive thought leadership articles. It’s also helpful if you indicate which Board members, staff or other affiliated leaders are ready for interviews and speaking engagements.
- List of past coverage. While some people think that doing this hurts your chance of new coverage, it actually demonstrates that your nonprofit is media-friendly, experienced and well-vetted.
- Sign up form. Keep reporters in the know by giving them a way to stay in touch over email. A press-specific email segment comes in handy when you want to share big announcements, and a great way to get started is by adding a form specific to your press page.
- Calendar. Showcase upcoming events where media are welcome. You could also include editorial items to help prompt a story, like seasonal happenings and awareness days. If you’re not able to update this regularly, link to your events page instead.
- Testimonials. Share pre-approved endorsements from program participants, Board members, partners and funders. In a pinch, you’re still quotable!
- Visit/tour information. If your nonprofit runs a location like a group home, food bank or natural area, list any rules and times for visiting, including photography restrictions.
- Additional media kit(s). In additional to your standard kit, you can add program- or campaign-specific media kits that offer additional insight into your goals and activities.
List of awards. Nothing says you do good work like someone else saying that you do good work. Add recent awards that demonstrate your impact and sound practices.
RSS feed. Offer the ability for people to automatically get notifications of new press releases or other updates by featuring RSS feeds. Or if you are an umbrella organization, use RSS feeds to pull in news from member sites.
Creating a media-friendly website helps you build and maintain relationships with journalists that can bring attention to your cause. A great press page can also take some work off your plate. Your marketing and communications staff will be able to better field media inquiries by offering more self-serve resources. Use this checklist to get started with your press page or to identify ways to grow your existing page over time based on what works best for your organization.
What other tools have been helpful in your outreach to reporters? Have you received requests for information that isn’t in our checklist? Let us know in the comments.