The key to nonprofit PR: action

One would be hard pressed to find a nonprofit organization that isn’t well-meaning.  They all have great missions, intentions and plans.  Further, they have great people who want to change the world for the better.

But if a nonprofit wants PR and its brand to become better known, it has to do more than have good intentions.  There are tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations doing everything imaginable.  And unfortunately, sometimes nonprofits compete with one another.  They compete for donor dollars, staff, volunteers, grants, even event space.  It shouldn’t be that way, but that’s the reality.  Hence, every nonprofit seeks recognition and visibility, not to feed its ego, but to help it grow.

If a nonprofit wants to be in the press in a positive and meaningful manner, it has to do things that are positive, visible and meaningful.  I would also add that what it does has to be unique, visual, interesting and possess all the elements that the media want when they write stories and air news broadcasts.  I have never seen a news broadcast on a nonprofit just based on their good intentions.

Most nonprofits know this.  That’s why they do events and work to get media coverage.  But with the number of nonprofits growing and number of media outlets shrinking, it’s getting harder and harder.  Social media postings are great, but usually not enough to mobilize funding.  All organizations want that big LA Times story.

So if you head a nonprofit organization and seek media visibility, plan events with a dual purpose.  First, don’t do an event just for the PR.   It needs to be effective in working towards your mission.  But if you do want media coverage, make the event different and unique so it can be pitched to the media.

And last, while planning an event, run it by your PR consultant to get their take as to whether it can attract media.  Sometimes great event ideas just take a twist or two and you might get CNN to show up.

That’s where PR firms such as our’s comes in.