This past Friday, Kara Kennedy, who does PR for Samford’s Brock School of Business, spoke to our PR class on public relations for non-profits. Matter-of-fact and straight to the point, it is evident that Kennedy lives out her PR philosophy: “Treat Non-Profits like a business.”
She had much advice, which she accredited to her many years in the field. The first: Get back to the basics. She advised the class to do SWOT analyses and to be frugal with the little money the non-profit has.
Kennedy also noted the importance of engaging customers. She used the phrase “Hunt ducks where ducks are”, meaning stay in the area where you will find people who believe in what you are trying to accomplish or sell. She also said that, as a PR person, one needs to stay true to the core mission of who you are working for– don’t deviate in order to be all things to all people.
Tell your story every day; be upfront and factual. This was something that Kennedy constantly stressed throughout her talk.
One of her best pieces of advice, in my opinion, was that you need to be very careful when deciding when and where to spend the publics money. Because of her background with the American Cancer Society and the Red Cross, she has seen first hand the results of both good and bad decision making in this field.