Not-to-late for the holidays tip #2: Set up a Google Alert

Old fashioned public relations has a lot to offer as part of the holiday fundraising mix, even in this time of the Great Shrinking News Media.

National news stories researched and reported by sources like the AP are having have an increasing influence on local news outlets.  Besides using their content outright, editors may hunt for a local tie-in.

So here’s not-to-late tip #2:  take advantage of Google Alert.  Google Alert is a cheap way of staying on top of news that might represent an opportunity for your non-profit, besides its value as a basic listening tool.

Example:  the US Department of Agriculture released a report this week that documented a rapid rise in hunger, which triggered an AP story.  Cynthia Hubert, a Sacramento Bee reporter, localized the story of the federal data by reaching out to local non-profits that provide emergency food and shelter.  Having a Google Alert set up for “hunger”, for example, could give food closets and other emergency social service providers a chance to suggest a local angle to key news organizations.

Even if your call to an editor or reporter doesn’t result in a story, you can still construct a brief news release regarding your organization’s data or experience, and use the information  in electronic or printed materials to add credibility to your messages.

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