How to use earned media to grow your organization

by | Sep 10, 2023

newspaper on desk

Amplify your reach and your impact by repurposing media coverage to support the bottom line


Whether you are managing your own PR efforts or you’ve hired an agency, you probably already understand that PR is an amazing tool in your marketing lineup. Telling your story and generating media coverage for the good work you do helps to amplify your voice, expand your reach, and find new audiences to support your cause. Further, media coverage can establish your credibility as an organization, as well as your authority in your industry. 


These results all support the initiatives and deliverables likely assigned to your marketing and communications team. As a member of the comms team, you are in the business of generating affinity for your organization and cause, sharing your message, and expanding your reach. But how does PR translate from supporting just the marketing and communications silo of your organization to supporting the business as a whole? Believe it or not, when leveraged properly, your PR results can affect positive change for your bottom line. 


Use PR wins to keep investors and stakeholders excited


You’ve worked hard to secure your key donors, board members, and other organizational stakeholders. PR wins are a great way to keep those VIPs engaged in your cause. Whether they are supporting you with their time, money, connections, resources, expertise, or all of the above, media results support the fact that your organization is important, growing, and noteworthy. You know this fact already, and hopefully, they do too, but the ever-important third-party media endorsement supports your efforts to keep those key donors committed champions of your cause.


Investors and stakeholders are critical to your organization’s success. Particularly if they are volunteering their time and money, you want them to feel that they are supporting a worthy cause. There are many important organizations that want and need the supporters you have secured. Having a story published on your organization helps put your cause in the spotlight and validates the idea that your organization is worth being associated with.


Use PR wins to help recruit and retain amazing talent


Finding and retaining talent is a key concern for many organizations. For example, behavioral health organizations are having a very hard time finding qualified nursing and mental health support staff post-pandemic due to burnout or lures from other careers that may offer less stressful work environments. However, a feature story talking about the innovations in community care that your organization is spearheading, or perhaps your unique internship and career development programs, or your executive’s expertise in the field can work as a really amazing recruiting tool. 


Make sure your HR team is sharing your PR wins via LinkedIn or other recruiting platforms. Highlight your organization’s awards and accolades on the “jobs” page of your website. Ask hiring managers to include links to recent press hits in their email signatures or highlight these stories in their communications to recruits. By showing potential employees that your organization is noteworthy, you help them feel excited about joining the team. 


Along the same lines, make sure to share press coverage and award wins with current team members as well. Showing your employees that your organization and their work towards your cause is worthy of media coverage helps promote buy-in, pride, and loyalty to your organization and your cause. 


Support the development team in their efforts


There is no better way for your development director to begin an ask than by saying “You may have seen our organization highlighted last week in the local news for our important work in providing educational support to populations in need.” With the third-party endorsement from a reputable media outlet, your pitch to new potential donors just got stronger. Now you aren’t just another nonprofit looking for dollars, you are the one that everyone’s been talking about and noticing! The development team will be grateful for that media coverage because one little article can do a very heavy lift in terms of explaining your cause and impact. 


For example, imagine if your organization is planning to launch a capital campaign to build a new building for expanded services, or perhaps even create a new satellite office in a new state or region. Having a feature article on your impact helps educate both new and existing community members who may not be familiar with you or why they should give $5 (or $5 million!) to support your capital campaign. True story, we know of more than one organization that received sizable donations from folks who read an article about them in the local newspaper.


Fully leverage your PR wins


Don’t just place the published article on the media page of your website and forget it. Press wins are amazing proof points of your organization’s relevance and community impact. Share and repurpose that content in multiple ways. Here are a few ideas:

  • Share press coverage on social media and encourage your donors and stakeholders to do so as well. By having those key and influential individuals also share your stories, you are widening your reach to new audiences and encouraging them to proudly promote their affinity to your cause. Having an influential board member share your story on their own social media channels will support visibility and credibility.

  • Include links to press coverage in newsletters and other communications with your investors, employees, stakeholders, and constituents. Use every communication outlet you have to ensure your internal audiences are seeing the stories that highlight your important work. 

  • Share news clips in corporate partner marketing materials, donor relations emails, and any other communications coming from your development director. These clips help illustrate your story, impact, and relevance to new audiences.

  • Highlight media coverage in both internal employee communications and recruitment communications. Thank your employees for their hard work and show them that your cause is getting attention and is worthy of their time and efforts. 

  • Pull quotes and excerpts from the article to create social media content including graphics, quote cards, infographics, etc., and share on all the channels mentioned above. The content of a published article can and should be repurposed and reshared many times over. 


PR wins are more than just a feather in your cap


Remember, a press hit isn’t just a feather in the cap of the marketing team. Nor is it just a box you should check. When used to its full potential, media coverage can really affect organizational growth and support your bottom line. If you are investing time and money into “doing PR,” then it should help support the overall financial and reputational success of your organization, too. 



Photo by cottonbro studio

Diana Crawford

About the Author: Diana Crawford

Diana Crawford is a seasoned public relations consultant with more than 15 years of agency, consulting, and in-house experience. She joined Orapin in 2013 and manages account services and client communications strategy development. She has worked across a variety of industries and has expertise with professional services, food/alcohol, health and wellness, lifestyle, sports, education, tech, and non-profit organizations.