USC Annenberg School For Communication and Journalism

Strategic Communications for Nonprofits

A Step-by-Step Guide to Working with the Media

In this guide, the Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC) provides the compass points and tools that nonprofi ts need to strengthen their organizations and become innovative agents of social change—to engage, inform, and persuade their targeted public audiences and to recruit, involve, motivate, and equip their activist constituencies. CCMC’s knowledge is drawn from twenty years of experience advising organizations on their media operations and helping them conduct public education and issue advocacy campaigns. Since 1988, under the sustained leadership of Kathy Bonk, Phil Sparks, and Emily Tynes, CCMC has worked collaboratively with hundreds of nonprofi ts and scores of coalitions, creating a laboratory of professional practice that has explored the full range of strategic options and tested the payoffs for organizations and the causes they pursue. Their collective intelligence is distilled into best practices, vivid case studies, and proven methods for planning and evaluation. It’s more than a menu of techniques—it’s about how and when to use them, how to play them off one another, how to combine them into a comprehensive media plan. It’s about the integration of sophisticated message research, strategic media relations, powerful media products, targeted advertising, and online communications.