Everybody wants PR. Publicity and marketing for nonprofits can make a huge difference in fundraising and growth. And when in litigation, PR can help win or lose a case.
But today’s media world is dominated by politics. The left vs the right. Investigations and interrogations. It appears the air is being sucked out of storytelling, which makes it more challenging for nonprofit organizations to convey their message to target audiences.
And with all the talk of political legalities coming out of Washington and Sacramento, civil litigation cases need to be much more intense, interesting, unusual and important than just a couple of years ago. More important, they need to be positioned as such, which is where professional PR people come in.
Today, communicators need to be smarter than yesterday. Social media is fast overtaking traditional media and always beats them out in speed. Many people get their news from Twitter and by the time the LA Times posts the story, it is already around the globe on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms.
While all of the above is the reality, it also is the reality that communications today is as, if not more, important than ever. With all the avenues of communication, come opportunities for more outlets. Yes, stories get out quicker and often not by professional journalists. Everybody carries a camera in their pocket and within seconds it is online. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for journalistic professionalism. Yes, a video may be posted, but the explanation or what happened can only come from journalists.
This is all to say that if a nonprofit or corporation wants its share of publicity, it has to be smart, fast and nimble. It work with professionals who spend all day focused on the media so when opportunities arise, they can jump in. This is especially true when a crisis occurs. In crisis communications the biggest challenge is time. You need to get your message out immediately because the media demand so. Giving it thought and strategizing is important, but then action must be taken.
These challenges will only exacerbate. The world will function faster not slower. As information travels at the speed of light, so much communicators.
And that’s what we do.