Unfortunately, I have seen too many of even the most noble and vitally needed
charitable nonprofits fade into obscurity, never having accomplished the
laudable goals they set out to achieve. In most cases, the reason for their
demise is that they did not promote themselves with vigor and assertiveness.
They either failed to learn to use public relations (PR) to their advantage or they
did not avail themselves of the services of professionals who could have
launched their causes into the limelight and helped them get the momentum,
manpower, and funds they needed to stay alive.
These early deaths are disappointing, unsatisfying-and tragic. They could have
been prevented if the right steps had been taken. As a public-relations
professional, I strongly believe that the world cannot afford to lose the efforts
of so many charities and nonprofit organizations which help solve the never-
ending problems that plague our fragile planet.
This book is therefore dedicated, with passion, to helping these charities and
nonprofits learn to use pubic relations of all kinds to accomplish their
important goals. Drawing on my background as the founder of one of
Hollywood's most prominent public-relations firms, and having represented
hundreds of the entertainment industry's biggest celebrities, I wrote Selling
Goodness to show you how to take advantage of professional public-relations
techniques on a fledgling charity's often- impoverished budget. The book
describes how the media operates, and how you can make it work for your
charity or organization.
In the following chapters, you will find advice on such matters as pitching a
story, writing a press release, and giving an interview. I guide you through the
critical steps of a PR campaign, from initial contacts with the media through
follow-up, special events, and dealing with a PR crisis should one happen to
Throughout the chapters, you will also find two types of "boxed features." One
contains special hints about PR techniques or additional elaboration on a topic.
The other presents case his, stories of inspiring PR stories from my personal
files. Indeed, one of my joys in writing this book is that I get to recount some
of the great stories I've collected over the years of promotional techniques
used by many different businesses and nonprofits.
THE MORAL CASE FOR PROMOTION
But Selling Goodness is much more than a practical handbook on skills and
procedures. It is also a moral manifesto. If you are a humble do-gooder with
qualms about seeking either attention or special promotion, this book presents
a powerful case for promoting yourself and your charitable cause. I believe the
moral argument is especially compelling now that government is trimming
outlays on social services. Nonprofits are being called to fill in the gaps. They
will need more resources-and they therefore must do whatever it takes to get
them, especially vigorous promotion of their vital cause.
If after reading this book you are able to take your cause more seriously, and
promote it with greater vigor and intensity, you will not only be contributing to
your individual charity, but to the broader purpose of promoting goodness. It
may sound quaint but the truth is that the promotion of your charitable work
can assist ill living beings. This is a grand vision, to be sure. But imagine the
potential of a planet that is better nourished, both in substance and in spirit. I
believe this is our potential.
My plan in this book is direct, and the process doable. It can make you an ally
in the grand project of selling goodness, and, through that alliance, a portion
of paradise can be regained.
Michael Levine is the founder of the prominent public relations firm Levine
Communications Office, based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Guerrilla PR,
7 Life Lessons from Noah's Ark: How to Survive a Flood in Your Own Life.
GuerrillaPR.net is a resource for people that want to get famous in the media,
without going broke. http://GuerrillaPR.net