Project Development

Step 4: Create Buzz

Outdoor Nation University

Above the fold.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it…blah, blah…you know the rest.

By now, you’ve written your story for advocates and funders, but there’s a good chance those stories won’t capture anyone’s attention in the media. What’s your hook? What’s going to make anyone care about what you’re doing?

If you’re holding an event, be sure to get the information into everyone’s hands weeks before. Schedules fill up fast and you want to be out front, not behind the curve. But, hosting an event isn’t the only way to get attention. Big grant? Big interest. First step. First story. Successful completion? Successful story.

Any press is good press?

No way. As Bernie Madoff, the Penn State football program and a host of other people and organizations would tell you, there is such thing as bad press. Try. To. Avoid. It.

While it’s true that your burgeoning organization needs attention, it really only needs positive attention. So, stay honest and transparent. Do the work you say you’re going to do and push forward on the vision you’ve outlined. Don’t get greedy. Don’t lose focus. Don’t get distracted.

The scoop on social media.

You’re young. You get it. Social media can help you generate attention, stay in touch and share your story widely. Be smart. Don’t abuse it. Don’t divulge information you don’t want your grandmother to know. Don’t post pictures that will negatively impact yourself – or your cause.

It’s important that you remember that people are watching and listening and reading. Lots of people. People who want the best for you and people who don’t.

Old school media.

Speaking of which, guess what will be the VERY FIRST THING someone in the mainstream press will do when they get a press release from you about your fabulous organization or cause? They will Google you. They will facebook you. They will seek out your twitter account and they will spend five minutes making sure you’re legitimate. Make sure they find the good stuff.

How do you get their attention? Two ways are best. One - write a news release or generate a media alert. It’s easy, but it’s important. Two – spend a few minutes on their site looking for the “submit an idea” button. Most broadcasters and newspapers have them. Use ‘em.

Think small.

Local media, that is. Most communities still have ways to communicate with each other that don’t include social media or traditional big media. Send photographs, op-eds, and well-written news stories to your local paper. With all of the budget cuts they’ve faced in the past few years, they are always looking for great stories. Ask your local radio station for a little time to share successes and ask for volunteers. They are always looking for a local angle. And, remember Wayne’s World. Many communities have cable access shows that desperately need content. Provide it. Get noticed.

Additional Resources

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