The Top Charity Stories of the Decade
Techniques That Can Help You To Earn More Media Coverage
By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)
To help our clients find formats that are getting the best results, North American Precis Syndicate ranks the top feature news stories of the year by the highest number of placements in media outlets nationwide. We have compiled the results to show the top feature news stories of the decade, those that have performed brilliantly, way above and beyond what is typically expected.
The most successful stories included attractive color photos or infographics, helpful advice from experts, celebrity spokespeople, the latest statistics, results from surveys, trends, time-saving tips, money saving ideas and other helpful information. The stories were targeting people across various demographic groups, relating to making the world a better place, protecting the health, safety and assets, of the readers, their friends and family members.
We are passionate about working on the kinds of stories that help millions of people nationwide with the news that is potentially life saving or can improve the quality of their lives.
To name a few, here are examples by topic, of the work from the best and brightest charity communications professionals for some of the most demanding management teams at leading organizations:
1- Youth and Education: Girl Scouts
2- Health and Safety: National Fire Protection Association
3- Veterans: Elizabeth Dole Foundation
4- General: American Humane
Create an increased awareness of your cause, and exceed your communications goals, by following these feature-writing tips:
1. Photos: Use beautiful, eye-catching color photos, infographics or informative charts and graphs.
2. Celebrity Spokesperson: Give your story star-quality appeal by using quotes or a byline format from a celebrity spokesperson or a reputable expert.
3. Statistics: Give compelling reasons to care by including staggering statistics from a credible source such as a trade association or a government agency.
4. Advice: Inform readers about ways in which they can help make a difference in the lives of others and support the cause.
5. Website: Direct readers to a link to your website or social media site for more helpful information.
6. Hotline: Include a phone number for people to call for more information on how to get help or help others.
7. CSR: Inform readers about how buying specific products will be beneficial to your cause as part of a corporate social responsibility program.
8. Holiday: Give tips on how to reduce stress in the holiday season by planning ahead and include some gift giving ideas that could support your cause.
9. Events: Alert readers about how they can participate in your special event or give a post-event wrap-up of the activities and what was accomplished.
10. Volunteers: Tell readers how they can use their time and energy to help those in greatest need.
11. Children: Include information on how they can help children succeed in school and develop a love of learning.
12. Donations: Inform readers about various ways to give including time, money, expertise, old clothes, food, equipment, a car, a boat, an organ, blood or whatever is needed.
13. Competition: Alert readers about a contest or competition in which people can nominate someone or enter to win an award for successful leadership related to your cause and include information about the winner as a role model for others.
14. Fundraiser: Encourage readers to host a fundraising event of their own or join in the fun and provide some funds for others.
15. Seniors: Inform seniors about the physical and mental benefits they can reap by utilizing their skills, talents and passion to help others.
16. Disabled: Inform readers about how to help the disabled to scale the obstacles they face and live life to the fullest, making examples of those who have succeeded in extraordinary ways.
17. Government: Alert readers about government-funded programs that can help them.
18. Veterans: Tell readers how to honor American heroes and help give them the recognition they deserve.
19. Girls: Encourage people to help girls with self-awareness programs that will give them experiential education of “learning by doing.”
Here’s how one organization went above and beyond to score massive media coverage:
COMPANY OVERVIEW: American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of animals. For more than a hundred years, American Humane has been first in promoting the welfare and safety of animals and strengthening the bond between animals and people. It is the first to serve, wherever animals are in need of rescue, shelter, protection or security. Through its innovative leadership initiatives – from its “No Animals Were Harmed®” program in Hollywood to broad-based farm and conservation animal welfare certifications, and to rapid-response rescue and care across the country – American Humane sets the gold standard as the most visionary and effective animal welfare organization in the nation.
CHALLENGE: Following seven years of pioneering research, American Humane revealed the results of its long-awaited “Canines and Childhood Cancer Study,” the first and largest randomized, controlled clinical trial to rigorously measure the effects of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) in the field of pediatric oncology. The results, published in the Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, show that regular visits from a therapy dog can provide significant psychosocial benefits to families of children undergoing treatment for cancer.
APPROACH: Using a feature detailing the research and data, NAPS aimed to educate the readers about how therapy dogs can play a crucial part in cancer treatment. In “Major Study: Therapy Dogs Can Help Families Of Children
With Cancer,” Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and CEO, said “This study is an important step forward in identifying and understanding perhaps underused weapons in the war on childhood cancer.”
RESULTS: This feature got well over 1,000 known placements. This appeared in all 50 states, with a readership of 40 million and on sites with 72 million unique visitors cumulatively. About 50% of placements were in the top 50 markets, 56% were in the most populous third of the states and 36% were in the wealthiest 25% of states. The article was viewed 418 times on our site.
American Humane’s Chief Communications Officer, Mark Stubis, said he has been “very impressed with the media coverage gained from its distribution” and has continued to collaborate with NAPS on its campaigns.
To see more Top Stories of the Decade for Health, Finance, Home, Auto, Food, Technology, and more, click here.