Nonprofit PR beyond the box

Every nonprofit organization, and there are thousands, wants two things.  First, they want money so they can continue their good work.  Second, they want PR so they can become known.  If a nonprofit doesn’t spread the word that it exists, how will it grow its donor base?

Yet, the question remains, if there are so many nonprofits — many with essentially the same mission — how does a nonprofit stand out?  How does it become known and how does it garner attention?

That’s where a strong PR and marketing effort comes in.

But even good PR won’t work magic.  There simply is too much competition for print and screen space.  That’s why it is important that the PR a nonprofit undertakes is targeted, smart and creative; only then can it break through the clutter.

Too many organizations write too many news releases that never get recognized.  Writing a news release is easy.  Get a reporter to take notice is the hard part.  So while an organization may think they are achieving their PR objectives by writing news releases, if nobody every sees them, not much has been accomplished.

If you are a nonprofit seeking PR attention, one way it to think outside your own organization.  Every agency wants their programs promoted.  But let’s face it, not every program is unique and newsworthy.  That’s why often the way to get recognition for a program is to find a way for it to help another, non-competitive nonprofit, or a newsworthy event.

To put it in terms that are perhaps more clear, instead of sending out a news release that your agency does disaster relief, make sure that when a disaster occurs your nonprofit is on the scene.  You don’t have to scream your organization’s name.  Just being there, doing what you do, will get you attention.  And most important, it will get you third party endorsement which is the best PR you can hope for.

Examples can go on and on. Don’t expect that the media will write about your organization because you exist. It’s what you do that will interest them.  Just doing is worth a thousand words.