Like any organization, nonprofits are looking to increase their overall brand awareness and reach their target audience. Though it can be challenging to allocate funding when operating on a tight budget, investing in even the smallest amount of public relations (PR) can go a long way in increasing a nonprofit’s awareness, gaining supporters and advancing fundraising efforts. Figuring out where to invest and how can be difficult for those who are not familiar with how PR works, but we’re here to share a few tips that can help.
Define your voice
Determining how your voice will stand out is an important part of crafting your identity. As you decide how to direct your messaging efforts, Bloomerang suggests thinking about your mission statement, who your audience is and what goals you have. Are you looking for more social media followers? Do you need more donations? Are you primarily trying to promote programs and events? All of these factors come into play when deciding how to craft your voice.
Tell your story
Good content tells a story that is emotionally moving, generates positive publicity and advances your brand message. The most effective stories – whether told through words or video – focus on the people helped rather than the nonprofit itself. According to glean.info, stories that relay accomplishments of people the nonprofit serves can convince donors to contribute to your cause. Knowing how to frame your mission statement, share stories of donors and recipients or highlight programs within your organization, can help bring your message to the masses.
Stories can be told through many PR tactics, including:
● Interactive social media campaigns
● Contributed content for local, regional and national publications
● Video content for social media and website pages
● Owned content for your blog website
● A podcast series
● Events or webinars
Measure your Success
When it comes to PR, quantifying success can be challenging. Measuring the impact of a news story you pitched is not as easy as identifying how many people saw a particular ad in a magazine. Though you may not be able to directly link sales to an earned media campaign, there are ways you can measure the effectiveness of your PR efforts.
Most social media platforms offer analytics that can help you understand which types of content are resonating well with your audience based on engagement (e.g., likes, comments, shares). Regarding earned media coverage, many publications have a media kit on their website that includes readership, circulation and demographics. While you may not be able to determine how many people actually read a news story that mentions your brand, you will certainly know how many (and what kinds of) people the story reached.
At the end of the day, your passion and commitment have the power to influence people from many different backgrounds to invest in your mission. You already have the authentic story people are looking to hear, PR simply helps your organization tell that story.
Our team has expertise in helping nonprofit organizations advance their mission. Looking for help? Let’s talk.