The closure of the News of the World newspaper after 168 years of publication demonstrates the power of media and the impact that public relations (PR) – good and bad - can have.
PR can be used to protect the reputation of your non-profit organisation, its message and what it stands for. PR can help to inform the public about your cause, create a positive attitude but most importantly build a reservoir of goodwill.
Therefore it is important that you understand which audiences you are trying to target and the different people or organisations that will be interested in the work you do. Once you know this, you can target your public relations activity to these groups and use different techniques and types of media to get your message across.
Apart from promote your services to the community within which you work you should also engage with employees and/or volunteers about up and coming events, project and fundraising activities. ’Internal Public Relations’ as a great tool to inspire staff about your cause.
The next question is which type of media can you use to connect with your target audience?
- Traditional media – newspapers, radio, TV & magazines.
- New/Digital media - the internet, blogs, websites and emails.
- Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Utube, Flickr etc.
- Ambient media – non intrusive advertising e.g. on the back of bus tickets, in public toilets or on the back of receipts.
Here are some examples of low-costtools that can be used:
- Your website.
- Word of mouth / recommendations.
- Email newsletters or printed direct mail to people on your database who may have previously donated.
- Press releases to local media about your events and fundraising activites.
- Presentations to stakeholders including staff and volunteers about your organisation’s vision for the future.
- Annual reports to show that your non-profit organisation is transparent.
The Making Connections Project is running a workshop which will include Public Relations in the near future. For more details contact Lydia Edwards at email@example.com or have a look at the Making Connections workshop information.