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Advice & information on using communications
to achieve your organizational goals
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Pitching Notes
From the Daily News 
Managing Editor, News,
Kirsten Danis
"The New York Daily News is the largest-circulating newspaper in New York, and we are always on the lookout for great stories about people facing significant challenges and achieving against-the-odds triumphs.
We want to know about clients caught in bureaucratic webs that we can help untangle or who overcame adversity and accomplished something we can celebrate.
We would love to hear about neighborhood trends, problems, challenges and quirks. We are passionate about New York -- passionate about righting its wrongs and lauding its heroes. We explain policy by showing how it affects real people, and that's what all our best stories are about."
Email Kirsten Danis at

Upcoming Workshops

I am facilitating communications workshops with the UJA-Federation  and the United Way of New York City in December. Follow me on Twitter for more details.  To find out more about my workshops, click here

Twitter Highlights

Reading Robin Hood Marketing, suggested to me by NPCC's Michael
Clarke. It's full of great ideas, suggestions and advice.
What's the most effective way to tell people about your fundraiser? 99% say email, 95% word of mouth, 80% FB -
1/3 of foundation CEOs regularly use Facebook:
Some tips on creating a wikipedia page:
 New York Times workshop photo 
The NYT workshop I moderated. (r to l) Fernanda Santos, Beth Fertig, Anat Gerstein, Gail Robinson, Shannon Troetel.
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Issue: 1October/2010

Welcome to the first issue of The Non-Profit Communicator.  

This newsletter provides non-profit organizations with communications tips and news - from media relations to social networking and more.

My goal is to help organizations engage the people who matter most - clients and potential clients, donors, volunteers, communities, staff, partners, and more - to achieve organizational goals.

I welcome your suggestions and feedback.

Thanks for reading,

Anat Gerstein

Go Online to Build Support
handsSocial networking has made it easy to identify and engage new supporters.

Harness the Power of Friends

Thompson Child and Family Focus, a North Carolina-based non-profit, set up Twitter tables at its annual event and asked attendees to post tweets asking their "followers" to make a small donation to the organization.  The result: they raised $4,000 and reached over 38,000 people!. 

Learn more about how they did it here.


Find the Fans

I recently advised an organization on promoting its annual event that featured a performance by a relatively-obscure celebrity.  Luckily, all celebrities have fans, and today you can find the hard-core fans online.

This celebrity - a female singer from the 70's and 80's - had a Wikipedia-sponsored Facebook page with over 3,500 fans.  A FB posting about her appeared every few minutes. And, over half a million people had watched just one of her Youtube videos.  By posting information about the benefit concert on these sites alone, the organization could reach many fans potentially interested in seeing this celebrity perform, opening up the market for the benefit.


For every cause imaginable, there are people online everyday, enthusiastically sharing news and information.  These are the people you want to identify and start engaging. 

If you are still figuring out what social media sites you should be using for your organization, check out idealware's guide.
Media Tips
Workshop provides attendees with do's and don'ts on pitching stories
I recently moderated a panel discussion on how to get the press to cover your story.  Panelists included Fernanda Santos from the New York Times, Beth Fertig from WNYC Radio, Gail Robinson from Gotham Gazette, and Shannon Troetel from NY1 News.  The workshop was sponsored by NPCC and hosted by the New York Times.  Here are some of the do's and don'ts discussed by the panelists:
  • Give reporters a heads up about upcoming events so they can plan accordingly
  • Have clients/real people available to discuss the issue (they want to hear from these people more than they want to hear from the Executive Director)
  • Your homework! Make sure you know what the reporters cover and how they cover it before you pitch and tailor your pitch to fit the reporters needs, not your own! Click here for a simple guide on creating a targeted media list
  • Provide a background for the story.  Location isn't only important for TV stories, its also important for radio and print reporters like Fernanda Santos who want to get a broader understanding of the story and the people
  • Follow up only to ask if the reporter received your email
  • Pitch old news
  • Call when reporters are on deadline (usually the late afternoons and early evenings)