Nonprofit public relations and marketing

Is it possible to attract media coverage for a nonprofit fundraiser event? I ask the question because every nonprofit holds fundraisers, whether in-person or online, and everybody wants media coverage.

The harsh reality is that media turnout in a large market like Los Angeles for an evening fundraising event is difficult unless it has one or more critical elements. Foremost, nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles need to understand that the city is showbiz oriented. For the media to send a crew, or a reporter and photographer, they want to show pictures that will catch their readers’ attention — and in L.A. that usually means A-list actors.

As a PR firm that has managed dozens of events for nonprofits, we speak from experience. We also believe that every nonprofit does great work. So while promoting the work of a nonprofit is admirable and what we do, that alone is not what will make the media come out.

There simply are too many nonprofits holding too many events for them all to be covered. And this is especially true in the post-pandemic era.

So if your event can’t turn out Brad Pitt, there are other ways to get media attention by creating a strategy that ties your work to current events in the news. Also, don’t forget post-event coverage. While media may not spend the money to send out a crew (yes it costs a station money to cover events) sending them video and photos after the event, which costs them nothing to run is something to consider.

And there are other techniques. Working with a firm that has put on numerous events, that comes with a fresh perspective and creative ideas, can be invaluable.