I’ve written in the past about the value of public relations in a nonprofit’s marketing mix. Nonprofit organizations use public relations to help educate the public, increase donations and find volunteers. Public relations can also increase the awareness of a nonprofit and engages donors through online and face-to-face events. To avoid money being taken away from a cause, nonprofits often spend less than five percent of their budgets on public relations and marketing. While nonprofit public relations work in the same fields like social media marketing, event planning, media relations and crisis management as corporate employees, they also conduct fundraisers, assist with membership recruitment and lobby the government for increased support.
What can a PR partner do for a nonprofit?
A public relations firm can handle all the marketing aspects of the nonprofit including email lists, donor calls, TV and radio spots, commercials and monthly newsletters. Public relations utilize social media to reach a variety of audiences with little to no overhead. In fact, 98 percent of nonprofits used Facebook, 75 percent used Pinterest and 70 percent used Twitter to extend their reach across the web. Social media marketing can create buzz for a nonprofit as well as increase leads and higher conversion rates.
What’s the primary focus of a nonprofit public relations person?
Nonprofit public relation professionals focus on member relations and fundraisers. This includes answering questions and concerns along with maintaining and developing relations with donors. Members are always kept in the loop with newsletters, magazines, online seminars and meetings about upcoming fundraisers and campaigns. Professionals help raise funds through traditional calls and emails. Donor packages are sent out to interested parties and crowdfunding links are sent through emails and social media outlets.
Public relation firms are able to promote the nonprofit’s overall mission while developing multiple channels for communicating with members as well as seamlessly integrating fundraising efforts through traditional and online methods.
Mix PR with a strong marketing strategy for maximum impact
While PR provides a fantastic partner for establishing and growing relationships with members and donors, nonprofits need to have an equally strong strategy in place to continue to expand their base and be strategic in filling their funnel. Public relations does a lot of the heavy lifting by getting your mission and your story into the channels that are relevant to your prospective members and donors, but a strong digital marketing strategy can pick up nurturing people from their first exposure to your nonprofit brand, converting them into advocates, adding more to the volume for PR to engage. We’ll save the discussion for how that happens in part two but know that PR and Marketing work best together One to attract, nurture and convert, the other to engage and develop existing relationships.
When do nonprofits need public relations?
You might be thinking public relations is only relevant for large, national or multinational nonprofits. But even small, local nonprofits can benefit. The University of San Francisco Provides a fantastic infographic that outlines the role of PR for non profits and when to consider PR.
Over to you
Have you brought PR into your nonprofit? Leave a comment and share how PR has helped your nonprofit and how you’ve integrated it into your marketing strategy. I’d love to hear from you.