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How to generate PR for your fundraising event

There are lots of ways to promote your fundraising event via your website, email and social media but having an event featured in the media can help you reach new supporters and ensure your event is a success.

Here are some top tips to help you get your event in the press:


Have a hook

Have you got any participants that are doing anything unusual, such as running a marathon backwards or baking the world’s biggest cake? Why not apply for a Guinness World Record? The Huddersfield Marathon Band, who played the entire route of the London Marathon in 2014, broke a record and ensured coverage not only for themselves but for their charity Sense. Journalists are always on the lookout for something unusual so use a hook to make sure you stand out. 


Think local

Having your event featured in a national broadsheet or on radio or television is the dream. It’s also very difficult unless you have something truly unique and compelling. Local newspapers and radio, however, are a great opportunity for charities to get coverage but for local media to cover your story you have to make sure that the message is in fact local. Here are some questions that you may want to answer to come up with some news angles that will interest the journalist:

• Is there someone from the local community taking part in the event for your charity?
• If so, do they have a unique reason why they’re taking part?
• Are they doing more than just running (for example), e.g. wearing an unusual costume?
• Can the journalist interview your case study?
• How can other local people get involved with your charity?

Make sure you get permission from the case study, as well as getting their name, age, location and a mobile number. You should also get a high-res photo of your case study that clearly shows their face, such as a family photo or portrait, which can be sent to the journalist.

Also have a read through of previous articles in the publications you want to be covered in, watch the local news, or listen to the local radio station to find out the kind of stories they like to cover, then add in similar angles to your messages. Make sure that you have a story of genuine interest – it’s not enough just to be a local charity without any unique local angle.


Pitch a human interest angle

Put forward to the media any fundraisers who have a strong back story or their fundraising tale genuinely stands out.

If someone has overcome medical odds to take part in a challenge event, that’s a strong contender to be featured. If it’s the parent of a child who is battling a rare illness or has even died, this is a story with a powerful emotional link which newspapers and magazines can make into an eye-catching headline.

As ever, the journalist wants a story with a compelling narrative, relevant photos and access to the key people involved in the story and most publications are happy to include details of the charity in the story and websites etc. in a ‘boiler plate’ at the end of the article too.

Some stories will be ideal as a ‘stand alone’ piece ( an individual’s story) while others might make a good ‘line up’ themed one, for example ‘3 women who survived breast cancer to run the marathon.’ And don’t forget that a strong photo can make the story. 

Further information

JustGiving for Causes have created a fantastic local PR toolkit for your fundraisers that can be shared on your website and social media channels, emailed to your supporters and included in fundraising packs. 




Page last edited Sep 08, 2015 History

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