Public Relations for Non Profits

Today’s blog is more a point of reference for me to use in the future.   However, I do find that the points I found in this web site where I got the content, have some valid points to use as a guideline.

We all have causes we are into.   Many go thru non profits to do their work.  I had the following questions in things I wanted to remind myself to evaluate.

What goes into being a non profit

Grant writing

Funding and fund raiser

Promotion and marketing

When does a non profit appear to the public as not being effective anymore.

Why do some succeed and some don’t?  The cause, the organization hierarchy, money?

What gets adults vs kids excited.   How to incorporate both to be involved

I think about my church and other groups that I have belonged to in the course of  a lifetime.   Many times, people who organized events get excited and it may draw the people already using the service/product.   But they don’t do anything to draw new people.  In today’s society, people are just bombarded with so many choices including not doing anything at all.

One thing that jumped out at me in the article was using competition to draw groups into action.   Something simple as  a T-shirt as a reward such as in a 5K walk really does become a badge of honor, publicizes your event, acts as a reminder, showcases any other sponsors and acts as a thank you to them.

The following I did find on a web site but can’t remember which one.   I just want to reiterate that so I am not found to be plagiarizing, just bad at footnoting when I should.

TARGET NICHE COMMUNITIES/LOCALIZE THE STORY

There’s no real harm in setting your sights high. For us optimistic types, it’s not unusual to think things like “Wouldn’t it be great if CNN picked up the story? or “Maybe news of our event will go viral!!”.  Still, the stark reality is : the chance of a small-scale nonprofit event getting press on even the local TV news is quite low.

High hopes aside, it’s precise, niche targeting that will actually take your event details from a press release onto the radars of local journalists/bloggers and eventually into people’s calendars. Think of a reason why hyper-local communities (neighborhoods, church groups, school districts, community centers) would take an interest in your event and target your PR campaign to them.

REMIND PEOPLE WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM

A good cause should be enough to get people off their sofas and over to your nonprofit event – right? Yes, it should be, and for your existing supporters, it will be. However, a good cause simply isn’t enough to get those less gung-ho folks to attend.

Appeal to their competitive spirit and turn the event into a competition (i.e. “The neighborhood that raises the most, gets a free barbeque hosted by us in the park”) or appeal to everyone’s love of ‘free’ things by giving prizes awayto participants (i.e. free t-shirts for those running in a charity race). The perks don’t have to be large or costly – even suggesting that attendees compete for a title – such as ‘best costume’ or ‘greenest neighborhood’ – is enough to get people’s interest.

MAKE THE JOURNALIST’S JOB EASY

Some journalists and bloggers see a press release as an opportunity for a great story. Most see it as a big block of text that’s primarily too promotional and not newsworthy enough to turn into a valuable news story. In their eyes, a bulky press release is a lot of work for potentially quite little reward.

To convince these local news-makers to write about your event, you have to make it easy for them. Contact them directly, offering to guest-write an engaging blog post on the cause behind the event and why it matters to their readers. Provide them with visual content, such as images, infographics and video. Offer to arrange for them tointerview the chair of the event. No matter how inspiring you find the subject, journalists and bloggers want one thing: quality content to share with their readers. Make it impossible for them to refuse you by giving them everything they need upfront.

BUILD-IN SOCIAL MEDIA FROM THE START

It’s nice to think of social media as a generator of free and spontaneous publicity. While it may be free, social media may be far less spontaneous than you’d think. If a conversation starts ‘trending’, there’s often a dedicated PR team (or at least some sort of organized group) behind it. When planning your event, it’s up to you to kick-off the conversation on social media.

Consider social media engagement during the event’s initial planning stage. Include a hashtag in the event press release, as well as any other promotional content you plan to distribute. Create a Facebook event, and consider promoting it through targeted Facebook ads. Share video by using popular apps like Vine or Instagram.

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