Why care about PR?• We can’t not care!• Social justice movements have done a good job ﬁghting for services, laws, etc. but not such a good job in the communications arena• Last frontier–we need to stop seeing it as a negative arena• It is an organizing tool!
Communications is an arenaFundraising Communications Public policy Services Organizing
Not rocket science . . .. . . but there is a science to it!
Communications is more than just media • We communicate... • to our board members when we have a board meeting • to our donors when we send out an annual appeal • to our legislators when we lobby • to our constituents when we do outreach • to the community when we hold a rally
Communications is key• Communications is key to all the areas we work on not just the public awareness goal• In order to achieve the goals we set for policy, systems work, work with our constituents, work with funders/donors we must communicate• Basically communications is the over arching structure that includes media, public awareness, public relations, etc.
A Strategic Approach to Communications• Is about strategic communications, not just media• Starts with a communication plan and builds key core competencies over time–start small, build big• Links communications to organizing, policy and other arenas of the organization• Institutionalizes communications within the organization
Public awareness goal• Our goal at the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless is to end homelessness by raising public awareness and educating the public to promote an atmosphere of intolerance of homelessness and a lack of affordable housing
Where to start?• Energy in = energy out• Communications assessment A blueprint for what you need to work on Helps you see where you need to get Each year turn some no into yes
Strategic building blocks• Labor power• Communications plan• Monitoring the media• Media systems• Message development• Developing relationships with journalists• Public awareness campaigns
Communications Plan• A communications plan is the foundation to all your public relations work• It helps you be more strategic about your public relations work
What’s the difference?Strategic Plan Communications Plan• Helps organization get • Helps your organization clear about its program get clear about its goals audiences, tactics to reach those audiences, and the messages to those audiences in order to meet your program goals
Communications PlanningShort-term Planning Long term Planning• Focused on • Tied to your strategic plan communications to • Looks at more than just accomplish a specific media objective–getting people to attend your event, convincing elected officials to support your legislation, etc.
Writing A Communications Plan• Establish goals for your organization or program Use your agency’s strategic plan if available, as goals are identified• For each goal, consider: • Audiences • Messages to your audiences • Tactics/tool for reaching your audiences • Evaluation
Remember . . .• Start small…build big• Strategic communications is an approach, it is not just media• Starts with a communication plan and builds key core competencies over time• Links communications to organizing, policy and other arenas of the organization• Institutionalizes communications within the organization