May 2014
Communications & public relations advice for nonprofits                                                                                                                                                                                                

  Brought to you by your friends at Anat Gerstein, Inc.  


Summer is almost here and we have suggestions below for how you can use the "slow" time of the year to ramp up communications activities and improve your engagement with stakeholders.

Pitching Notes in this edition comes from one of our favorite media people: NY1's Melissa Rabinovich.  Learn more about her and how to pitch her below.

We'd like to welcome our newest staff member, Rachel Klein.  Rachel has more than a decade of combined experience in media and public relations.  She has worked for boutique PR agencies, Fodor's Travel and Scholastic.
Finally, we'd like to recognize and thank our new clients: Associated Medical Schools of New York, Flushing Town Hall, Long Island City Partnership, and Project Renewal.  We are also thrilled to be working with Damon Runyon again for their 5K at Yankee Stadium.  

All the best,
The Anat Gerstein, Inc. Team
Anat, Jeff, Katrin, Zac, Rachel and Joanna
3 Summer Communications Activities

Create a Press Plan to Take Advantage of a Slow News Season


Summer is not just about vacations: It is a good time to pitch stories and build relationships with reporters. Look at this period as a time to create your own news, and cultivate new reporter relationships. 


Start by developing a plan for what you will pitch and when, and select the four reporters who can cover your story. Invite these reporters out for coffee or lunch to get to know them better, but, don't spend the whole time pitching them. Talk to them about what interests them, and how you can help them with the stories they want to write.



Improve Communications with Stakeholders


We've worked with organizations whose boards and stakeholders had little knowledge about their nonprofit's latest news. The awareness lapse was a result of a communications gap about press stories, new funding, program development and other important news.


How do you know if your organization is sending out enough information and using the right communications channels?  Just ask.


Take the summer months to ask a few board members, funders and other stakeholders about the information you are sharing - and, use the results to identify ways to strengthen your communication.


Try a New Way to Spread the Word


There are plenty of stories that won't be reported on by news outlets.  But, if they are stories that are important to your organization - for fundraising, advocacy, recruitment or another reason - try some different ways to spread the news. Here are two ideas:

  • Invite your local - or citywide - elected officials and community leaders to visit a program or project you are highlighting. Share photographs, use social media, and shoot a short video to post on YouTube.
  • Arrange a volunteer opportunity for the program or project you are trying to promote and encourage participants to take photos and use social media (with a special hashtag, of course!) to share their participation. And, send thank you notes to your volunteers (from participants, if possible).

Pitching Notes:


Melissa Rabinovich

Executive Editor, Time Warner Cable's NY1 News


I've worked at New York 1 since February 1998. When I started 16 years ago, I was a producer overseeing day-to-day news. While I was raised in Staten Island, I was living in Lower Manhattan when the September 11th attacks occurred, and I took on a larger role offering New York 1 greater access downtown.


I later produced six, one-hour specials for the station on the recovery and resilience of New York after the attacks, and then oversaw the station's Living unit, which includes entertainment, health, finance, parenting, travel and arts coverage.


Ten years ago, New York 1 established "local editions," which today provide hyper-local coverage - more than at any other local station - of Queens and on Staten Island. We felt there was a great need and great opportunity to tell stories in our communities.


Over the last two years, we've focused even more on the hyper-local. We will cover galas, and we always look for visuals, and a news hook. If a nonprofit responds by raising money for disaster relief, we want to know about that. Nonprofits can help us by making sure they have a visual story.


Everyone who works for our Queens bureau lives in Queens, and the same goes for Staten Island. They are like me and they discover stories in their daily lives, through our kids' schools, and from volunteers we know.


We're always looking for a Queens or Staten Island "Person of the Week", too. But remember: Nonprofits who want to be covered need to be accommodating, accessible and think visually.


While nonprofits can email me at, story ideas about Queens can be sent to and Staten Island to



anat gerstein inc.

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Connecting people to causes.
Building brand recognition and reputation.


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