Within the field of PR there is the genre of non-profit PR. Many of the same rules from for-profit PR can guide you through non-profit PR work. However, non-profit PR is, in many ways, in a league of its own when it comes to approach and overall tactics for success.
And Kara Kennedy was the perfect person to guide our Principles of Public Relations class through the world of non-profit PR. Kara is currently the Director of External Affairs for Samford University’s Brock School of Business. Kara’s non-profit experience includes everything from the American Cancer Society to the American Red Cross. Here are the major highlights…
1. Everything is non-profit PR is about relationships. You aren’t simply trying to persuade someone to buy a product from you, you are trying to appeal to people’s emotions and attempting to build a relationship with them
2. “Hunt ducks where ducks are.” Understand your target audience. Not every non-profit will appeal to every person. So don’t try to be all things to all people, instead look for the people who can make a connection with your non-profit organization. The supporters of a Humane Society may be entirely different than the supporters of Doctors Beyond Boarders.
3. Top of mind awareness. Keep them coming back! Put an emphasis on keeping your volunteers loyal and make sure your donators keep coming back. You can do this by keeping your non-profit organization at the top of their mind.
4. Where does social media tie into non-profit PR? If you aren’t using it they are still talking about you anyway…so use it! BUT your entire plan cannot rest on social media! Blend social media and traditional PR, that will yield the best results.
5. Perception is 9 tenths of the law. So, tell your story and tell it every day. There can be a lot of misconceptions about a non-profit’s goals or even a non-profit’s finances if they aren’t actively communicating their story. Telling non-profit’s story clearly, consistently, and to the right people is really what its all about!