Re-thinking the Nonprofit PR Landscape
The nonprofit sector is not like how it used to be about twenty years ago and the public relations industry is constantly evolving through the expansion of technology and a changing media environment. These changes, and the growing numbers of nonprofits in the United States, call for public relations professionals to re-think how they communicate their nonprofit’s message.
Cut through the clutter
How are you going to take your nonprofit’s message and cut through the clutter? The goal of every nonprofit is to sell their cause to their particular audience and to inherently increase their donor pool. But it’s hard to do that, if your message doesn’t cut through the noise.
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are about 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. To cut through this type of noise, a nonprofit must know and understand their brand culture. Nonprofit organizations tend to focus mainly on fundraising and miss the mark on establishing their message and brand culture; they miss the mark on establishing what their community will be connecting to.
You’ve heard the old adage time and time again, “it takes a village to raise a child.” This applies within the nonprofit arena. A great communication and PR strategy has strategic partnerships embedded in the mix.
For example, Epitome of Soul’s mission is to strategically partner with other community organizations and educational institutions in order to rightfully equip students in performing arts. Our strategic partnerships like Barnes & Noble or Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts has increased our donor pool and our brand awareness.
Embedding strategic partnerships into your communication plan helps to cut through that noise, eliminate “competition” and promote collective work.
Maximize Social and Digital Media
The Pew Internet & American Life project indicates that of 6,010 American adults, 73% are using some kind of social networking site. This means much of your target audience needs to be reached via social and digital. With that said, your PR strategy can’t just include traditional media. What social media platform relates to your audience the most? Is your website mobile-friendly? Have you built relationships with niche-bloggers? These are pertinent questions you need to consider when crafting your communication strategy. It no longer is about just pitching your local reporter.
It is a no brainer that the PR landscape is evolving and your nonprofit communication strategy needs to evolve with it.
About the author: Natasha J. Benjamin is a two-time founder of a digital public relations consultancy, NJB PR & Media, and a performing arts nonprofit, Epitome of Soul. In addition to her PR work, she pushes others to pursue their passions and blends media and black culture through her penned thoughts. Natasha holds a Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African American Studies from Syracuse University. Natasha loves to connect with new people, so tweet with her here: @natashajoleen and connect on LinkedIn!