The common goal of organizations, be they nonprofit or for profit, is to raise the public conscious regarding their work and goals. The methods for achieving this aim are the same for both types of organizations. No matter where your goals lie, the way to reach the public is through an organized communication plan crafted to be seen and heard by the target audience, and in general, by as many people as possible.
However, there is one a difference in the way the public perceives profit versus nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations are seen to be more credible in the eyes of the public for having a purity of purpose. For profit orgs are seen as the vehicle for someone at the top to get rich quick, while nonprofits are seen as organizations run for the greater good of mankind. But ultimately, purity of purpose and the perception of the public matters little if an organization fails to be seen and heard in the busy, fickle environment of media today with its abbreviated attention span.
The following five tips go a long way in helping nonprofit organizations effectively spread the message without getting lost in the crowd.
Have a Plan
Too often, nonprofit organizations, in an effort to cut costs, run haphazard and unprofessional PR campaigns. The results are hit or miss. Create a goal-oriented strategy and a program to carry it out. When working out the plan, ask at every step of the way: How does this serve our goal? If the question cannot be answered in a logical way, go back to the drawing board. Revisit the plan according to a schedule and see if the plan is still working or needs a tune-up to better fit the current dynamic.
Know Your Message
A good PR campaign is message-driven. A clear-cut message helps to position the nonprofit and distinguish it from others. The platform for your organization is the way to reaching hearts and minds. In crafting the message, ask: What is unique about this organization? What do we do that no one else is doing?
Train Your Spokespeople
Your message is only as effective as those who give it over. Don’t stint on the effort to find and train excellent spokespeople. Hold seminars and workshops. Make sure the spokespeople have a clear idea of the message and know how to effectively pay it forward.
Looks for ways to connect to new audiences. Offer something of value to a new community. Advertising a program run by a nonprofit in a community newspaper in a good example. For instance, kars4kids, the car donation charity differentiates itself from other car donation charities through its myriad programs for children in need. Court favor with local media in areas where your organization is operative.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ are just some of the social media outlets where a nonprofit can run a successful branding campaign, spread a message, and build bridges. Today, social media is so much a part of our world that if an organization has no social media presence, it definitely will not be taken seriously. Hire people who are happening in the social media sphere. Make sure your social media people don’t just post but actually interact with the public and build connections.