Public relations is all about serving to maintain good communication between an organization and its public. The ultimate PR goal is to maintain a positive reputation for an organization. Establishing social trust is one of the major responsibilities of a nonprofit organization and this can be achieved with a well strategized public relations plan. Taking measures related to public relations can also help with generating more in terms of charitable giving and growing your nonprofit. Under the huge umbrella of fundraising for nonprofits, there are efforts that can be made even more effective with the help of public relations. A lot of nonprofit organizations go for a public relations agency while others opt for an in-house PR. Either way, it all depends on what works for your nonprofit. Let’s delve into the role that public relations plays in the working of a nonprofit.
Of course your nonprofit as a brand can be made visible to the public using social media and blog articles. But when there are PR efforts such as networking and events, you make an impression that people do remember you by. Your networking efforts can get you the opportunity to work with well known nonprofit influencers. For example, a roundup article on a trending topic can be your window to really interact with such prominent individuals and pave way for more collaborations. When nonprofit influencers share your work or details about your organization, there are higher chances for your nonprofit to be more visible. Public relations can also help you feature a link on trend stories that other platforms might be doing. The research and outreach here is the responsibility of the public relations professional/ team.
Increase Donor & Volunteer Engagement
Overall, PR strategies also include drafting and execution of donor and volunteer activity plans. The goal here is to get your supporters involved in activities so that you get the opportunity to know them better. This can be in terms of collecting feedback or suggestions on how your supporters would like to see your nonprofit grow. Even on social media, there are different engagement tools that can be used, such as polls and quizzes. Good communication and excellent bond between a nonprofit organization and its supporters will result in a positive reputation of the organization. It might seem old school but word of mouth is still an effective way to build a good reputation and increase your charitable giving. When one of your supporters feels good about your nonprofit, the word is definitely going to spread.
Everybody makes mistakes and those mistakes at times have an impact on the working and reputation of a nonprofit. In such a scenario, nonprofit organizations can make use of public relations to course correct and perform damage control. Drafting of press releases to address, accept and acknowledge the problem is the first PR step to manage a crisis. Crisis communication via social media and other channels such as emails and newsletters are also a part of public relations responsibility. Following up with the progress of crisis management efforts while constantly being transparent with the public is what you get with an ideal public relations.
Boost Your Marketing Strategy
Lastly, public relations fits perfectly well into your marketing calendar and acts as a booster to your marketing efforts. For instance, if you are organizing a webinar or an event to market your cause and raise more funds, you can incorporate PR into the same and pitch for a coverage about your online/offline event. This will bring in more traction and result in an increased number of audience. Blending PR and marketing is possible even when you are publishing a new e-book on, for example, charitable giving. You’d definitely want more people to sign up for the e-book’s launch. Building a buzz around the launch is a good way to go about it, public relations is truly key.
Public relations in fundraising for nonprofits is not limited to getting immediate results. It is also about planning for a future and leading your organization towards more credibility, enabled by a positive reputation. Keeping this in mind, it is advisable for nonprofits to not overlook the role that PR plays in the organization’s well-being.