Hannah | The Media Guide
For over 50 years, the annual Northeast Ohio Media Guide was produced by The Center for Community Solutions to help health, social service, civic, cultural, and other nonprofit organizations that help people.

When it was first published in 1954 as The Publicity Guide, public relations professionals were rare in the nonprofit field. Organizations had important messages to share, but they lacked the information and skill to tell their stories via the public media. Community Solutions, then known as the Welfare Federation, hired one of the country’s first public relations professionals focused on health and social services and began educating nonprofit organizations in how to work with the media. The Publicity Guide was one of the tools created to help them. The first edition included a handful of newspapers, a few radio stations, and three television stations, along with a few helpful hints.

Over time, the Media Guide evolved to reflect an ever-expanding world of print and electronic media, as well as the knowledge and advice of many people with hands-on experience and recognized expertise in the field. Each edition of the Media Guide provided information and guidance about identifying, contacting, and building relationships with media representatives in Cuyahoga and seven other Northeast Ohio counties, as well as in Columbus and other key cities in Ohio. There was never a cost to be listed in the Media Guide, and there was never advertising in the Media Guide, other than to acknowledge sponsorship when appropriate.

While it has been used by for-profit and nonprofit organizations alike, the Media Guide’s main purpose has always been to assist health, social service, education, civic, and cultural organizations in getting their vital messages to the public. To that end, in addition to its instructional text and directory sections, it included checklists and samples that could be easily adapted for use by nonprofits of any size.

The Media Guide has often been called the public relations practitioner’s “bible” and, until recently, could be found in printed form on the desks of communications professionals and volunteers all over Northeast Ohio.

In 2009, Community Solutions transformed the printed Media Guide into an online subscription service. In addition to continuing all its beneficial features, the new format enabled monthly—rather than annual—updates to keep the information fresh and accurate.

Just as the Media Guide evolved over time, Community Solutions’ portfolio of work changed with it. In 2011, the decision was made to find a new home for the Media Guide.  The new home had to have the expertise to enhance and expand the Media Guide’s usefulness as a tool, as well as an appreciation for the critical role played by nonprofit organizations and their need to tell their stories. In October, 2011, Hannah News Service became the new home of the Media Guide.