The following general guidelines, excerpted from PhilanthroFile's Media Toolkit for Exponent Philanthropy members, can be adopted by any nonprofit or foundation seeking to build relationships with its community and craft a powerful media strategy.

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Every organization, no matter the size, should consider developing a media strategy. Beautifully landscaped Facebook pages and carefully crafted tweets are less important than unified messages and timely goals.

1. Identify a Purpose (“The Why”)

Every media strategy should be rooted in a specific message and sense of purpose. The public won’t respond to your call for attention if you don’t know why you’re calling them.

2. Tell a Story

It’s often easier for people to remember stories than it is for them to remember facts. Compelling story lines build drama and attract attention. Your strategy should be guided by the very same principles that underlie basic storytelling.

3. Do Your Research

Before you launch any major campaign, know your facts. Communicate information to news sources you know will be interested in your story, and treat them with respect. Review social media networks and relevant publications to see what people are saying about your organization, the population it serves, and the issues you care about most.

4. Develop Relationships

Building meaningful relationships with people in your community is key to the success of any campaign. Take time to get to know the journalists and key stakeholders in your field. Follow them on social media and retweet or “like” their posts, if appropriate.

5. Stay Relevant

Your organization’s message—just like your organization’s purpose—should naturally attract the people you’re trying to serve. Comb through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to make sure the images and quotes you’re using are relevant to your target demographic.

Read the source article at PhilanthroFiles