Using the news to promote your charity

Using The News Feature

Charity digital marketing teams spend a lot of time trying to balance reactiveness and proactiveness in order to get their message across in the most effective way.

The need to be reactive usually comes out of the blue, but if recognised quickly and planned out effectively, it can provide a great opportunity for digital activity that really gets your message out there.

We’ve seen a few examples of this in the last few weeks. Here are the best ones.

Pathway Project, Domestic Violence and The World Cup

Last Week, Pathway Project released this image on social media just in time for the World Cup.


It’s had almost 59,000 shares because it has everything a reactive campaign needs in order to be successful. The statistic is shocking, the graphic is clear, and it involves a topic everyone is talking about; the World Cup.

Medical Aid For Palestinians Ramadan Fundraising Campaign

It’s notoriously difficult to fundraise through Facebook these days. Heavy saturation of the market and rules around high-quality ad content make it incredibly difficult to launch fundraising campaigns in the way Medical Aid For Palestinians did this year unless everything is just right.

So when a conflict in Palestine left hospitals in need of medical supplies at the very beginning of Ramadan, a time of the year in which Muslims give £38 a second in charitable donations, the charity Medical Aid For Palestinians did an excellent job of launching a fundraising campaign using the Facebook donate feature.

They raised an incredible £1.3 million in just a few weeks.

Women’s Aid and Love Island

It seems as if everyone’s talking about Love Island, and that includes Women’s Aid. They capitalised on a conversation between two contestants last week by issuing a statement through online content that suggested that one of them was showing clear signs of ‘gaslighting and emotional abuse’.

Women’s Aid Chief Executive Katie Ghose called for Love Island fans to stand together against abuse. The statement was issued in the form of a blog, which was picked up by the media and rewritten as a news article by BBC News, the Daily Mail, the Radio Times and scores of others.

Their statement was all over the internet in different forms and raised lots of awareness around the work they do to protect women and children.


Top Tips For Reactive Marketing

  • Always have your eyes and ears open for relevant opportunities. If your teams are talking about something that seems really newsworthy, look for an opportunity to tie it into what you do.
  • Avoid tenuous links. If the audience doesn’t get it, it won’t work.
  • Think it through carefully. It can be tempting to rush off and react before you’ve planned the campaign properly, but if you hash it together then it’s more likely to flop. Spend some real time pulling the key elements together.
  • Utilise resources when you can. Make sure your artwork is professional and considering injecting a little bit of budget into promotion in the beginning if you’re sure that it will work.
  • Promote it through all channels. Don’t just plonk it on social media and hope it will take off. Send it out through your newsletters, write a blog about it for your website, call your press contacts to let them know about it, and ask your staff to share it online and to their networks. Put it in front of as many people as you can in the beginning.

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