Monday, October 7, 2013

Authenticity. Clarity. Effectiveness. Honesty. These are all things your organization needs in its communications.

Our Approach

Effective communication is powerful, persuasive, and incisive – it clears the fog and gives clarity.

We  deliver engaging … [more]

Written for InSite magazine, this article discusses preventing child exploitation within faith-based settings. “No More Tears” offers tips from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) while also talking with camp and … [more]

Ami Neiberger-Miller published an academic essay in an anthology, Resisting the Holocaust, edited by Ruby Rohrlich, a well-known historian and early feminist.  The essay was titled, “An Uncommon Bond of Friendship: Family and Survival in Auschwitz.” … [more]

Research shows that photos need to be a serious part of your social media strategy, if you want to improve your user engagement.

Facebook – SimplyMeasured’s recent data on the third quarter of 2014 looking at the mega brands found that photos account … [more]

Have I ever gotten an interview for a client by pitching a journalist cold through Twitter? Yes. Here’s the story:

When the Chronicle of Philanthropy posted it was looking for charities who had done work around 9/11 for an upcoming anniversary piece, I knew … [more]

Building relationships with journalists is key to nurturing stories and managing your organization or company’s reputation in the news media. Twitter offers some great ways to nurture relationships with reporters and improve your visibility and understanding … [more]

You may have heard the buzz about repeating tweets from Guy Kawasaki (who chose to re-run tweets 4 times 8 hours apart), or Marketing Land where they view content as running over a lifetime (an interesting approach), or in the New York Times – is it a good practice … [more]

Five Behaviors to Avoid on Twitter

Thursday, January 15, 2015

If your New Year’s resolution was to improve your presence on Twitter for yourself, your business or your employer, then here are a few problem behaviors to avoid with some tips on how to improve:

Problem #1: Not educating yourself about Twitter. It takes … [more]

Tying your cause into a designated awareness day, week, or month on the calendar is a common public relations tool to draw attention to your work and your nonprofit organization. Here’s five reasons why you should try it.

Reason #1 – Creating a holiday … [more]

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The DoGooder Video Awards are back again and accepting nominations starting January 12, 2015. This is a great way to win kudos for your nonprofit organization’s video work over the last year.

The categories for this year’s awards include:

Funny for Good … [more]
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Two months ago I went to Florida to support media relations for the TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar. It was a time of healing, sharing and comfort for hundreds of people grieving painful losses.

I still remember the first time TAPS held the … [more]

Periodically in PR, we circulate reminders about things like 25 Things Journalists Think You Should Stop Doing Right Now.  It’s always a negative regurgitation of all the bad things public relations people do (admittedly I have seen some of my compatriots … [more]

The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) posted online a recording of a panel discussion from its 2014 conference on how to tell the stories of trauma survivors with grace and dignity.

It was an interesting panel discussion and I enjoyed hearing the … [more]

I began administering a YouTube channel several years ago for a client – and YouTube provided a way to provide their content that was easy to use, searchable, and affordable. Bandwidth fees to host videos on their website were a concern for them, like many nonprofit … [more]

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I love the concept behind a new ebook from Brian Solis – what if PR equaled people and relationships? I have always believed in the idea of relational media relations – that clients/organizations benefit from cultivating long-term relationships with … [more]

Mining editorial calendars can help you plan your PR outreach efforts and be successful. Photo via Creative Commons.

There’s a secret tool to help public relations professionals plan their story pitches in advance for magazines, major blogs and other … [more]

An article in the Dallas Morning News examines how nonprofits are using crowdfunding to raise needed funds for new projects. The author describes how one nonprofit hoped to raise $50,000 but actually brought in $140,000 for a new restaurant to provide culinary … [more]

A nonprofit organization in San Diego, Turn Our Hearts, got itself into  public relations trouble when NBC San Diego investigated its IRS filings and found out that the organization had falsified the list of Board of Directors on its 990 forms. Some of the prominent … [more]

Zack Miller of Hatch Norfolk talks about the value of building community at TedX Norfolk and how it is happening in the tech startup community. He argues for creating smaller companies and thinking internationally and nationally. He argues we should be sharing … [more]

Facebook page reach is on the decline, notes this article from TechCrunch, as people like more pages and add more friends. News feeds are increasingly log-jammed with updates and information, and nonprofits, associations and businesses are in greater competition … [more]

The Atlantic has an interesting story, “What It’s Like to Deliver Bad News for a Living,” by Carrie Seims on people who deliver death notifications, upsetting news, and fire people en masse – and the negative impacts these roles … [more]

Ami will be leading a workshop session for the Association for Death Education and Counseling on Saturday, April 26 called “Sharing Your Message in the Community: PR 101 for Grief.” The session offers a “how to” approach for public relations … [more]

With the heyday of self-publishing and on-demand printing in full swing, anyone can become a book author for minimal cost. Nonprofit organizations are among those who are starting to publish their own books. Writing a book can help your nonprofit organization in … [more]

I am often amazed at how often I hear nonprofit organizations talk about hiring or using interns for social media. Inevitably, the organization has no presence on social media or a very limited one that is not updated. The person says they realize social media is an … [more]

Ami spoke last week at Columbia University for a group of journalism students on how to cover traumatic events with sensitivity. She spoke from her slides and talked about the challenges inherent in trying to report about traumatic events that have hurt people and … [more]

Magazine Writing: Crisis PR

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ami Neiberger-Miller wrote this article offering tips for rescue mission staff on coping with public relations during a crisis. She interviewed staff from the Portland Rescue Mission in Oregon and City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City. The article reminded readers … [more]

Member association organizations want to know how their members engage and want to be communicated with. But assessing what works requires a holistic approach that examines both staff perspectives on what works and what members really think and do. Steppingstone … [more]

Sister Cities International is a nonprofit member organization focused on building peace and global understanding by linking communities in the United States with communities abroad. The organization needed a brochure that could be utilized for multiple purposes, … [more]

The sister city movement links together hundreds of grassroots and autonomous local nonprofit organizations. To help its member organizations improve their public relations outreach, Sister Cities International issued a communications toolkit to assist … [more]

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When a new Army public service announcement aired during pre-game coverage for the Superbowl in 2014, it drew America’s attention to the thousands of military families who have lost a loved one in military service to America. To expand on that attention, TAPS … [more]

When a Soldier, Airman, Marine, or Sailor dies in service to country, it’s not uncommon to see thousands of people line the streets to witness a funeral procession and honor that military service member’s life. Iconic images of families receiving folded flags … [more]

Steppingstone LLC’s Ami Neiberger-Miller played a key role in  creating Peace Through People: 50 Years of Global Citizenship, a 250-page book that was published in 2006 by Butler Books. This book was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the sister … [more]

When the University of Florida’s program in agricultural safety needed help designing a curriculum and training materials for a public safety program, it turned to Steppingstone LLC for help.

Researchers and educators knew that people were more likely … [more]

Change and experimentation are coming to the Washington Post, according to Chris Jenkins, who spoke the Independent Public Relations Alliance (IPRA) in January 2014. The October 2013 announcement of the Post’s sale to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, … [more]

The 2014 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey offers some helpful data for public relations professionals working at nonprofits and associations to consider.

The good news – there is job growth across the nonprofit sector – with plans to hire in … [more]

Situation: In 2003, the 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System was facing a crisis. A curriculum design team had fallen more than a year behind schedule after a key leader was no longer able to lead the project. The 4-H horse education series was woefully out of date, and … [more]

In December 2008, the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) filed a class action lawsuit, Sabo v. United States, on behalf of seven veterans from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. The seven veterans were discharged from … [more]

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is well-known for its work in missing child cases, but in 2003, many did not realize it also supported services to assist survivors of child sexual exploitation.

One in five girls and one in ten … [more]

Treat all content as if it will be published forever. It is a near impossibility to remove information from the Internet, so think twice before posting any content you might regret later.

Respect others’ copyrights and trademarks. Avoid copying and pasting … [more]

The Women’s Media Center issued a sobering report this week on the status of women in the U.S. media in 2014. This study takes a more comprehensive approach, looking at newsroom staffing, talk shows, radio and film. It summarizes a number of studies to paint … [more]

Helping nonprofit organizations and associations communicate more effectively is Ami Neiberger-Miller’s passion and focus. She founded Steppingstone LLC, an independent public relations and design firm in 2003. She provides a variety of services for … [more]

Twitter and media critics pounced last night on skier-turned-reporter Christin Cooper and NBC for airing an emotional interview with bronze medalist Bode Miller, where Cooper asked about his brother who died and his emotions. Miller handled the interview as tears … [more]

The Miami Herald recently ran an article discussing the work-life demands faced by nonprofit CEOs. Many nonprofit leaders work significant overtime, balance complex demands from competing audiences (donors, clients, board members, staff), are tightly connected … [more]

Since yesterday’s post was about how to make friends and market yourself or your organization on Twitter, it only makes sense that today I would offer some advice on behaviors to avoid on Twitter that don’t help you make friends. If you want to make more … [more]

Making friends and marketing yourself or your organization on Twitter may seem daunting to someone who is just starting. Or you may have joined Twitter a while ago, but feel like your efforts have stagnated. How do you go about getting a foothold on Twitter and finding … [more]

The 2014 DoGooder Awards recognize the creative and effective use of nonprofit video in promoting social good. Now in its 8th year, the DoGooder Awards program is dedicated to giving cause advocates that use video a place for their work to shine. If you have invested … [more]

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Giving a great speech that motivates and inspires is not easy. It requires finesse, tact, and knowledge. It’s easy when you work for a cause, to assume that giving a speech will be easier if you are passionate about the topic. After all, this isn’t your … [more]

Situation: In early 2005, the 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System was facing a crisis. A design team had fallen more than a year behind schedule, and they now needed to produce a new service learning curriculum for teens in only five months. Orders for the finished books … [more]

The Urban Institute published a brief summary of 2013 charitable giving. Nonprofit fundraisers should plan to pay attention to the giving season between October and December (make a note on your calendar now!). The other interesting facet found in IRS data – … [more]

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Steppingstone LLC Marks a Decade of Service Assisting Nonprofits & Associations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 30, 2013

PURCELLVILLE, Va. – Steppingstone LLC, a public relations and design practice specializing in nonprofits and associations, celebrated … [more]

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