Case Study: How to Develop Relationships With Media

November 04, 2021


This case study is part of Child Care Aware® of America’s Marketing Toolbox, a member benefit that features resources with information and advice on marketing best practices in activities such as branding, reputation management, social media and much more. The Toolbox’s media relations resources include tip sheets on building relationships with reporters, identifying and preparing staff and clients for media interviews, and a press release template 

Nancy Schlichenmayer, Executive Director of The Right Turn, the child care resource and referral agency in Pierre, South Dakota, describes how her organization developed a relationship with its local radio station, KCCR Radio AM 1240.  

How did you develop the relationship with the radio station? 

We have a local educational facility that sponsors a monthly community spotlight of nonprofit educational activities on KCCR. During the summer, many of the other education nonprofits are closed so we get the free community spot.  

KCCR also has an annual convention, the Farm, Home and Sports Show. For a nominal nonprofit rate, we have a booth to build community awareness of our education programs. Our volunteers help to staff the booth and we give away books to promote early literacy and have a door prize to promote traffic.  

As part of the agreement to participate in this show, we receive several free radio spots to promote whatever we want, such as fundraising efforts or community activities. I prepare talking points for the radio announcer, who is quite skilled at making it a conversation that reflects our upcoming activities, as opposed to an interview. 

The radio station also offers opportunities for additional interviews should we have other upcoming activities that we want to promote. These interviews are usually recorded for Facebook and we encourage our staff and Board members to like and share these spots. 

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The Right Turn's Sara Valle and Nancy Schlichenmayer were recently interviewed by DT Meyer on KCCR-AM 1240 (Photo from The Right Turn’s Facebook page)   

How often are these radio interviews?  

They can be monthly if no other nonprofit is available for the community spots. We often don’t have much notice about these radio interviews, but we always make it work. 

If we have an activity or class coming up that we want to publicize, we can schedule a live interview and pay just $25 for it. 

Does your organization have a dedicated staff member who coordinates media outreach? If not, who coordinates it?  

I wish! As the Executive Director, I coordinate the media outreach efforts. One of our new Board members works for Riverfront Broadcasting, which owns KCCR. Another Board member is the local newspaper editor. When we have Board openings, I am mindful to include a variety of professions, including the media.  

We have also developed a great working relationship with one of the local newspaper reporters.  If we provide press releases, he will ask additional questions and do his best to include it in the newspaper, which helps increase community awareness. 

The rest of this Q&A is available for CCAoA members as part of a full suite of resources focused on media relations best practices.  

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Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Professional Development, Best Practices

David Carrier

Written by David Carrier

David Carrier is Senior Manager of Public Relations for Child Care Aware® of America. He has designed and implemented communications strategies for children’s organizations for more than 20 years. Prior to joining CCAoA, he worked for Council for a Strong America, Child Trends, National Human Services Assembly/National Collaboration for Youth, and National 4-H Council. David has a J.D. from American University and a B.A. from Brandeis University.