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pr-strategies-for-nonprofits

The Golden Rules Of PR Strategies For Nonprofits

Eva

Public relations is one of the most important aspects of running any company or association, and this is especially true of nonprofit organizations. When running an organization that thrives on the contributions and support from public donors, it is critical to maintain and grow a positive relationship with them as part of a nonprofit marketing plan

Fortunately, there are numerous PR strategies for nonprofits to improve their presence. Ready to learn about some of the most valuable strategies to improve nonprofit public relationships? Let’s dig in!

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Set Your Nonprofit’s Objectives Before Thinking About Your PR Strategy

Before you ever consider public relations for nonprofits, there are some preliminary steps to take. All of the preliminary steps come under the heading of defining exactly what the needs of your organization are. This way, any PR tactics or strategies implemented will actually be geared in the right direction. Some primary factors to consider when looking at organizational needs are:

  • Funding

  • Awareness or Recognition

  • Member, Donor, and/or Volunteer Recruitment

These are the primary parts of any nonprofit organization. It is important to know where the organization is lacking or could do better so that PR strategies can be directed to those areas. For example, if the hope is to expand volunteer recruitment, the PR strategies implemented should be geared towards achieving that goal.

pr-strategies-for-nonprofits-objectivesBeatrice is ready to outline her PR objectives!

Once you have defined what areas need work, you can take action to increase PR in those factors. 

Pro Tip: When looking at the objectives of your organization, be sure to consider both long and short term objectives. Using our example above, we may have a short term need to add 15 volunteers for an event that is already planned for the following month. However, a longer term goal may be to leverage Google ad grants for nonprofits and other social media strategies to develop a series of pitches that can be used to build relationships with businesses in the community. These companies can act as a source of supporters who may have employees interested in acting as volunteers on an ongoing basis and/or the businesses may act as partners for future fundraiser efforts to help your nonprofit secure a larger number of donations.

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Identify and Understand Your Target Audience

To be able to properly implement PR strategies, understanding the audience that you are targeting is a good place to start. You want to understand their habits and tendencies so that your message can be crafted to resonate with them. One way to gather important information is to design surveys for nonprofit organizations to get more insights on your audience. Utilizing what you learn to design marketing personas can be incredibly beneficial. 

A marketing persona is simply a mock-up of what your typical audience(s) are and how they behave. This will help you to create better campaigns and target the right channels where these types of personas will be. Remember, there is no one size fits all effective nonprofit public relationships strategy. It is important to take a long hard look at your organization, its needs, and target audience to craft the most efficient strategy or campaign. 

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Use Different Channels for Your Nonprofit’s PR Strategy

One of the most valuable things that an organization can do in terms of increasing PR results is to target various platforms. The modern age of technology has introduced a plethora of platforms to reach individuals and these need to be used as an asset to reach the largest and best audience. 

When it comes to PR, some may assume this just means press or papers, but this is far from the truth. Nowadays, your organization should regularly leverage social media, word of mouth, influencers, podcasts, radio, and even texting for nonprofits can help reach a bigger audience. You do not have to choose one and stick with it. In fact, it is typically better to use multiple and blend them together. The great thing is that many of the channels available these days can be easily set to work together, like with cross-posting on multiple social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. 

Pro Tip: Using Google Maps for nonprofits is one channel that many organizations tend to neglect. Try not to let this untapped resource pass you by as having a proper listing on Google Maps can boost your organization's presence in searches. 

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Continuously Develop and Maintain Your Network

A critical aspect of nonprofit PR and networking is how well it’s maintained. PR is all about building personal relationships with spokespeople who can share your message like journalists, bloggers, influencers, and reporters. Just like most other types of personal relationships, these can fall apart if you do not put the effort in. If you try launching campaigns on various platforms and then never follow them up or continue to monitor them, chances are that they will become nothing but a misuse of time and resources. 

Pro Tip: The first PR campaign you launch may not have the ideal response. However, keep in mind that this is a learning experience. When you utilize what you learn and tweak and adjust for the next campaign, you will ultimately find what will reach the intended audience for your specific goals. 

The idea here is to build a thriving network before you actually need it so that when you do, it is readily available. Again, just like any other personal relationship, you generally want to talk to and get familiar with someone before you ask them for something. Building a good PR strategy can be time-consuming and resource-heavy, but if done right, it can provide a massive return. 

pr-strategies-for-nonprofits-relationshipsSam is emailing some influencers and building relationships!

On the other hand, you do not need to give 150% either. You want to ensure that the work you put into maintaining your network does not deplete your nonprofit organization’s resources. 

Pro Tip: If your internal team is unable to do double duty as a PR team at the moment, consider utilizing one of many great public relations companies and nonprofit advertising tools out there. They can help you build efficient strategies that can leave you the internal resources you need to dedicate to furthering your impact on the overall mission. 

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Communication & Marketing
Eva