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The Elevator Pitch For Mission-Driven News Nonprofits

(Former INN Executive Director Kevin Davis offered this advice in a 2012 blog.)

You’ve heard this premise before: You’re standing in front of an elevator and, as the doors open, in front of you is the key individual that you’ve tried for months to get on the phone.

Once you’re in the elevator you realize you have only 30 to 60 seconds to make the right impression and get him or her to take note.

While this scenario may not play itself out quite as dramatically in the real world, as nonprofit news executives we often find ourselves in situations where we have to articulate what we do, why we do it, and why anyone else should care – and we have to do it quickly.

There are many articles available to business executives, entrepreneurs and sales professionals with tips on how to deliver the perfect elevator pitch (read herehere and here for a few examples).

However, a nonprofit leader has the added complexity of having to articulate the unique qualities and value of his or her mission-driven organization to a wider range of constituents including foundations, corporate underwriters, advertisers and, of course, members of the audience that you serve.

In “The Art of the Elevator Pitch: 10 Great Tips,” Audrey Watters succinctly lays out the attributes of a successful elevator pitch for business professionals. Here’s my modified version for nonprofit news executives:

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