Selling Goodness-Introduction To The Book
By Michael Levine
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 you.
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.