15 ways NGOs can attract positive media attention

In a world where competing crises clamour for news spots, how can NGOs get their messages out? Our panel has these suggestions

By Anna Leach

The Guardian

Be clear about your message: First thing, figure out what you actually want to say and why. Sounds basic and is but will help you to decide which media to target and with what. Andy Shipley, news editor, Plan UK, London, UK, @andyshipley

Embrace the new media vanguard: Media analysts and NGOs need to become more open minded regarding new journalistic formats such as Buzzfeed, Vice and Medium.com. These online formats may have different needs than traditional newspaper media and NGOs need to prepare better for them. Tobias Denskus, senior lecturer communication for development, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden, @aidnography

Get non-comms staff to use social media: Encourage staff to use social media themselves. There are no better ambassadors. For the most part, I ignore official NGO social media profiles. I want to interact with people, especially aid workers, researchers and policy wonks. Tom Murphy, reporter, Humanosphere, Portland, Maine, @viewfromthecave

Pay for trips: We subsidise where it’s permitted, and try to offer access they can’t otherwise get on a story that’s genuinely strong. Last summer the Telegraph travelled with us to Tanzania for a piece on maternal health linked to water access in hospitals. The result was a compelling article in a paper (and online). And then we did our own piece. Carolynne Wheeler, news manager (acting), WaterAid, London, UK, @carwheeler

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