Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that seeks to transform conflict into cooperative action. Based in the US and Belgium, they operate primarily in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia and employ approximately 700 people. SFCG uses Meltwater for press outreach, email blasts, and analytics that help measure the effectiveness of their efforts.
As the world’s largest peacebuilding NGO, SFCG employees and program experts provide valuable hands-on insight into the conflict situation on the ground. These insights are shared at events around the world. In order to generate awareness around these events, SFCG monitors media interest and continually expands their global network of media contacts.
Prior to Meltwater, identifying press contacts to cover these events required scouring news outlet websites to find the name and email of the relevant journalist or editor. With little insight into locations and topics covered by journalists’, outreach was a frustrating and time-intensive. Suspect contact information resulted in few replies to news releases along with disappointing pick up. Coverage was manually entered into spreadsheets but did not include any data measuring impact.
“The peacebuilding sector is pretty niche in the eyes of the public,” says SFCG’s Massimiliano Colonna. “So we have to reach out to foreign affairs and international news people and let them know we can provide valuable insights on stories they are covering.”
When our staff from the field visits HQ, we can now easily send out an interview opportunity announcement to a targeted group of journalists that we know will be interested. This personalized outreach has greatly contributed to the increase in the number of press mentions we receive monthly.Massimiliano Colonna Communications Coordinator
SFCG leverages the keyword-driven search in Meltwater’s media database to quickly narrow down relevant journalists based on their recent articles. This allows the team to easily zero-in on journalists that will likely be interested in SFCG news and expertise. Additionally, the branded email editor in Meltwater’s press outreach tool streamlines the process and adds a personal touch for emailed news releases.
Meltwater’s dashboard analytics provide visibility into the impact of SFCG’s outreach. In a recent reporting period, Meltwater contributed to a 50-70% increase in the number of SFCG news features across smaller press outlets and larger, well-known names like New York Times and Washington Post.
“Meltwater has radically changed the way we do PR and press outreach,” says SFCG’s Massimiliano Colonna. “It’s much faster and more efficient.”
Meltwater’s keyword-driven search feature enables us to send informed, relevant stories to journalists we know will be interested. This allows us to be quicker and break through the pitch clutter with a concise, targeted approach.
Build lists of qualified media contacts
Streamline and personalize the pitch process
Significantly increase coverage in publications of all sizes
“For our recent interview with a Tunisian expert, we leveraged the Meltwater keyword search to find editors in the Middle East or Tunisian correspondents who had previously written about the country. This cut our research time in half and drove outstanding attendance for the event.”– Massimiliano Colonna, Communications Coordinator
“Since we started using Meltwater our message is resonating more. Monthly press mentions continue to climb. Press features increase 50 - 70% each trimester and we’re attracting big names like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press.” – Massimiliano Colonna, Communications Coordinator
“We co-produced a reality show in Palestine that was the talk of the town, yet generated little interest elsewhere. After we started using Meltwater for press outreach, we placed stories in major outlets including the Washington Post, ABC News, Yahoo News, and the Boston Globe. The Meltwater platform enabled us to be featured in these outlets and eventually 260+ others.” – Massimiliano Colonna, Communications Coordinator