Public Relations for Nonprofits
Just like any corporate organization, large or small, nonprofits need an effective Public Relations strategy. There is value in Public Relations for all organizations. You may have a smaller budget and fewer staff, but that does not mean your nonprofit or ministry cannot effectively promote your message.
You do not need to have a full-time communication specialist on staff or in-house communications team to effectively create and execute a Public Relations plan, foster relationships with your donors and the media, or effectively communicate your overall message.
Here are our top four tips for effective Public Relations for nonprofits and how best to promote your message:
Know Your Voice
In order to promote your message, you first need to understand it from the inside out and know every aspect of your ministry or cause. The key is to educate your staff on the WHO, WHAT, and WHY of your nonprofit. It is important that your message is consistent. With everyone on the same page, anyone in your organization can field questions, build relationships, and promote a clear message.
Pro tip: assign a specific individual or small group of people to handle Public Relations, especially with the media. A designated contact will have a greater chance of building and sustaining strong relationships.
Know Your Audience
Public Relations is fundamentally all about relationships. And one of the most important relationships your nonprofit has is with your donors and supporters. It is important to take the time to target the best audience for your cause so that you can effectively promote your message in a way that appeals to them. Some questions you might want to consider:
- Who do you hope to attract and serve?
- What language do they find appealing?
- What do the demographics look like?
- What other causes do they support?
Pro tip: take the time to consider who is NOT the right audience for your cause. Take the time to fine-tune and eliminate those who are not a good fit. It will save you time and money down the road.
Know and Define Your Budget
Most nonprofits have a limited budget for marketing and promotion. Plan and include Public Relations in your overall budget. These costs might include press releases, media costs, printed materials, and events. Even the smallest budget can be effective with a little creativity and preparation.
Pro tip: there are many ways in which you can promote your message for free or a minimal fee online. Google’s Ad Grants program is a popular and cost-effective way to promote your message online.
Know Which Communication Tools Are Best
The more platforms your nonprofit uses to communicate your message, the more exposure you will have and a greater chance for success. Some examples include:
- Social media: Keep your audience and demographics in mind when using social media. Choose the social media platform(s) that best fit your organization and your message. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- E-Newsletter: This is a great way to build relationships and promote your message in a cost-effective way.
Pro tip: we recommend sending out a biweekly newsletter. This will keep you in front of your audience without bombarding them with information and requests for support or donations.
- Website: Create a website that is easy to navigate and accessible on all devices. It should include information about the who, what, and why of your organization as well as a way for donors to contribute to and support your cause.
- Media: Build relationships with local media outlets and write targeted press releases when needed.
Every organization and nonprofit can benefit from a solid PR strategy. With a clearly defined mission and message, you can promote your cause on any budget and with or without the help of PR professionals.
If you are interested in Public Relations strategy or consultation to help protect your brand, Infinity Concepts is here to help. CLICK HERE or call us today at 724-733-1200.