Mastering The Media™: A Guidebook

Successful nonprofits and advocacy organizations get that way because they are passionate about their work and its benefits. They let the world know why what they do is important. So can you. Just follow the counsel and examples from this straight-to-the-point approach to building public awareness, written by a man who’s been in your place.

Based on Mr. Hamlin’s 30 years of professional experience, including eight as a nonprofit executive director, Mastering The Media specifically addresses the unique needs of the nonprofit sector. Teaching more than just mechanics, this sensible “how to” focuses on the purpose behind PR, the passion so important to generating community – and financial – support.

This pragmatic guide to both basic communication tools and techniques and sophisticated public relations strategies is all you need to create and/or manage the kind of stories the media will be quick to cover.

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    What you can learn

  • • A new way to view media so you know exactly what they want.
  • • What makes an effective news story – there are dozens in your organization, you just need to identify them.
  • • The basics that get your stories told — whether you’re targeting mainstream media and the Internet, or local church bulletins and association publications.
  • • Who the real audience is for your news release – it’s not your board members!
  • • How to build media lists using guides, the Internet and your own common sense.
  • • What makes a great press release – remember your primary job is to make the reporter’s job easier.
  • • Where to send the release so it gets the attention it deserves.
  • • Why the oft-maligned “sound bite” is the heaviest weapon in your publicity/public relations arsenal.
  • • What to do when “it hits the fan.”
  • • What not to do in press conferences and interviews.

Reviews on Mastering The Media

Here’s what other executives and communications people say about David Hamlin’s Mastering The Media.

“If you want to move, change, shape or lead then Mastering The Media is the first place to start.”
Darryl Young, Former National Media Director, The Sierra Club

“This book takes the mystery and complexity out of the media game. It’s clear and to the point. All senior staff should have a copy on their desks.”
Mike Alvidrez, Executive Director, Skid Row Housing Trust, Los Angeles

“David Hamlin has trained our members, with his wit and intelligence, on how to succinctly frame our message and use our passion and common sense to move our agenda forward. He has shown us by example, what we need to be fearless.”
Lydia Missaelides, Executive Director, California Association for Adult Day Services

“Novices and pros alike can learn valuable lessons from Mastering The Media. After reading it, I passed this book on to my clients and associates and urged them to take Hamlin’s guidance to heart. The tactics and strategies are applicable to any organization – including my corporate clients – who want to make news in the right way.”
Gay Silberg, Chief Executive Officer, GSS Communications, Inc., Los Angeles

About the Author

David HamilDavid Hamlin has more than three decades of experience as a public relations and communications tactician and strategist. Prior to founding WHPR with his partner, Sydney Weisman, Mr. Hamlin was an Executive Director for ACLU in New Hampshire and Illinois, where he led the organization through the explosive controversy surrounding a neo-Nazi demonstration in Skokie. His book, The Nazi/Skokie Conflict (Beacon Press, 1980), was hailed as “A comprehensive, accurate, riveting account…” (Nat Hentoff) and a “major contribution to the struggle for liberty” (Ira Glasser). He has written newsletters, position papers, speeches, political satire and thousands of news releases and media advisories. With Ms. Weisman, he has hosted talk radio in Chicago and Santa Barbara; together, the partners currently appear on KPFK-FM in Los Angeles, providing on-the-spot PR/communications counsel to callers. A skillful, trained community organizer who was a member of the inaugural class of urban VISTA volunteers, Mr. Hamlin has founded several successful community organizations and served on numerous Boards of Directors. He is an avid tennis player, a crossword aficionado (in ink) and an occasionally savvy poker player.