Run it like a business

Kara Kennedy graced our class with a visit packed with relevant and modern information, especially if you have any interest in working with nonprofit organizations.  Kara Kennedy is the director of external affairs for the Brock School of Business at Samford University.

“Everything in nonprofit is based on relationships.”

Kennedy spoke of her experience with nonprofit organizations.  One thing I think all nonprofits need to remember is to “run it like a business.”  Kennedy warned against running out of money, even the best causes need to operate like a business.  She also said, “Tell your story to your constituents and tell it every day.”

Her second PR job was for the national office of the American Red Cross in March 2001.  In September, she said, “Everything changed.”  It was in this position that she was faced by some of the most intense situations in her career.  Knowing the laws of the government everywhere you go is extremely important, something she learned quickly working for the Red Cross.  Kennedy told us to build relationships with the media, because the media professionals are humans with day to day problems.  Having a friend in the media can also help in a time of crisis by coming to you for a statement or quote.

How people view your brand is extremely important, but you should know that.  Perception is 9/10ths of the law, what people perceive about you is what they will tell others about you.  Be sure that what they are telling others, is exactly what you want.

“Become excellent at what you do and don’t give up,” is the most important thing Kara Kennedy said.  If we all accomplish that, then the rest will come naturally.



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