Like for other businesses, public relations for nonprofits plays an important role in determining the success of their vision and mission. But the key challenge for most nonprofits is the allocation of funds behind the PR efforts as most of them have extremely tight budgets.
It is in best interest for any nonprofit to make a small investment in public relations as it’s a great way to raise awareness, reach out to larger audiences, gain new volunteers and increase donations.
Nonprofit PR strategy involves communications with people using various channels and outreaching to publications and newspaper journalists.
For an effective PR strategy, you need to have
Well defined goals and plan to meet them
Determine target audience and what kind of messaging and tactics will be effective
Make appropriate use of offline (e.g. TV, newspaper, press publications, radio, speaking engagements, trade shows, hosted events etc) and online channels (e.g. social media, website, discussion boards, community forums, press releases, online magazines / newspapers etc)
Give importance to building trust and personal relationships
Measure your results
Storytelling in public relations is an effective way to better connect with a targeted audience to build positive publicity. However, it is even more important how you tell the story and how easy it is for the media to cover it.
In simple terms, PR is all about brand awareness, building trust and credibility and effective communication over raising funds or getting volunteers.
Make effective use of PR as a part of your overall nonprofit marketing plan. You can use it when
You are launching a new initiative
You wish to showcase success stories for your past campaign
You are planning for a major event and wish to push ticket sales
You are starting a new fundraising campaign
You have immediate need for raising funds or recruiting volunteers
When it comes to nonprofit public relations, you may sometimes not receive desired success or response, but this doesn’t mean that PR storytelling was not good. It is just like you don’t find the right supporters for your cause. Keep going and tweak your PR strategy until you get desired results. Also, don’t miss to celebrate small victories that testifies to your good work. Let your audience know about this. This will help to grow your support base and keep them excited.
Maintaining relationships with the media is equally important as you do with donors and volunteers. Send thank you notes once your story is published, appreciate their support, keep them informed about your success or failures, share a bit about your future opportunities etc. Keep nurturing to build trust and long-last relationships.