In my post today was This Way magazine. Not heard of it? Nor had I, but it’s the publication of Toyota GB, sent to 330,000 Toyota owners nationally and inside is an excellent 2 page spread about ShelterBox, the disaster relief charity.
Toyota is keen to stress its innovation and use of latest technology and its Best of British section showcases ShelterBox’s hi-tech but practical approach to saving lives. The online version of the magazine also carries the same feature (see http://magazine.toyota.co.uk/#/best-of-british )This is great publicity for ShelterBox (who happen to be a client of ours) and it got me thinking.
There has been some interesting coverage recently on BBC Radio 4 (showing my age here!) of corporate magazines, and how some of them – notably Tesco’s – have higher circulations than many newspapers. The point here is that these mags are often overlooked by charities as a way (often cost free) of getting their message across to new and existing supporters. Many large companies have them – not just the supermarkets, as the Toyota example shows.
So where do you start if you want a slice of this coverage? The first point is to research the market. Which companies are you interested in? Do they have their own magazine (whether for staff, customers or both)? Is there any affinity between your cause and the company’s brand? Perhaps you already have relationships with companies that could run a feature on your work. If not, do your research and draw up a short list. Then you can contact the editors and develop some interesting pieces for submission. If you can, provide high quality photos and make sure your contact details are run in or with the article if possible (the one omission I noticed in the ShelterBox piece).
Of course, PR on its own does not raise money. What it does though is prepare the ground for future fundraising by getting you in front of some new prospects and reminding existing supporters that you are still there doing good work that needs their support. Corporate magazines are always on the look out for interesting copy, so think about which ones you can target in 2013.
If you have not seen the ShelterBox website, see: http://www.shelterbox.org/news_global.php?id=1064 Their latest appeal supports Syrian refugees.
Simon George is a Director of Wootton George Consulting and a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising. He has worked in fundraising since 1987 and was the founder of the IoF's Trusts Special Interest Group. He works with a wide range of charities in a consultancy capacity, specialising in strategy, trusts and legacies. email@example.com. Tel 01785 663600.
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