Four non-stories that nonprofits love to continually pitch to the media


The always popular ribbon cutting ceremony, even with some guy in a Darth Vader costume with a light sabre, just isn’t news. 

There’s no question your organization does amazing, worthy work.

But don’t confuse worthy with newsworthy.

Yes, it’s great that you’re moving into a new home or a bigger place. Or that you got a major donation and  you’re looking to raise a pile of cash for a big community project.

But groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, giant fake cheque presentations and your latest fund-a-thon aren’t news.  If you’re really lucky, you might get coverage on a very, very slow news day. But don’t bank on it. Some media outlets have policies against running grip-and-grin cheque presentation photos or covering a dozen people in suits and hardhats pretending to dig a hole in the ground.

By all means, do these events to warm the hearts of your donors, Board members and senior management team. But just don’t count on much, if any, media coverage. And if you do manage to get coverage, will anyone but you actually care?

Published by

Jay Robb

I've reviewed more than 500 business books for the Hamilton Spectator since 1999 and worked in public relations since 1993.

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