PR Tips For Albury Not For Profits


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PR Tips For Albury Not For Profits

  1. 1. LOW COST PR Tips Low Cost PR for Albury Not For Profits 1 Maine Street Marketing
  2. 2. LOW COST PR Tips The Global Outlook Remains Uncertain But … Here is a collection of low cost tips to help you promote your not for profit organisation in the next 12 months. Because …. Despite a tough economy the need continues for not for profit and community groups to market themselves. Perhaps even more so in uncertain times, your organisation will need to attract: • Funding. • New members and volunteers. • Clients to use their services. • Attention for the great work you and your members do Suggestions for low cost PR tips for community organisations in this report came from responses to a request for ideas on our Traffic on Maine blog ( PR professionals, not for profit groups and others kindly offered ideas which after minor editing and grouping are presented for you to share and use however you see fit. You can see the original comments at 2 Maine Street Marketing
  3. 3. LOW COST PR Tips Thanks to those who kindly contributed their thoughts and words about low cost PR. Albert Maruggi Provident Partners Aleeza Zohar Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health David Waylen Volunteering SA & NT Inc Elouise Holmes Volunteering Victoria Joan Stewart The Publicity Hound Kathy Young Healthy Girls Paul Hartunian Free Publicity Tips Scott Anthony Fox's Pizza Den Sue Ellson Newcomers Network Terry Fallis Inside PR Doug Hohls Blog Laura Fragiacomo Rosanne Gain Tami Belt ….and of course anonymous 3 Maine Street Marketing
  4. 4. LOW COST PR Tips Start With A Compelling Message … In good times and bad, many worthwhile organizations vie for attention and dollars. Before embarking on PR your organization must craft its message about who are you and who you help? • Do your services overlap with other groups or not? • What makes you unique and stand out? People want to know about you before investing in you. • What area of the community is served - pets, homeless, elderly, disabled children, etc. • Do the majority of funds go to the intended programs and recipients? Identify the problem and the solution your organization offers. Find out how to connect emotionally with your target audience. How do you affect them in the home, heart, health or the pocketbook? Put a face on the population you serve. Tell their story. Describe their situation and how your services help them. If you must present a bleak picture, be sure to provide a solution. People want to hear positive outcomes to things that affect them and their community. So how do your services improve the community’s quality of life? 4 Maine Street Marketing
  5. 5. LOW COST PR Tips Show Staff Respect In Tough Times … Remember that external and internal communications are two sides of the same coin. What happens internally quickly makes its way to the outside world and hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth carries considerable clout. The financial crisis has already resulted in job losses in the not for profit sector. Keep the employee communication lines open and honesty is critical. If job losses are likely, tell employees sooner rather than later (don’t let the grapevine deliver the news). If you honestly don’t know what’s going to happen, tell people you don’t know what’s going to happen (research shows uncertainty is a killer) and keep them informed – even if that means you have to keep repeating you don’t know. If job losses are imminent, let people go with compassion and give them as much support as possible. And remember survivors will need support too. The grapevine is awash with stories about the human carnage committed by organisations that really ought to know better. Reputations earned for being an ‘employer of choice’ are being reduced to tatters, and an engagement program without sincerity will not convince anybody that “we value our people” 5 Maine Street Marketing
  6. 6. LOW COST PR Tips Tap Into Your Board … Look at the untapped talent base in your organisation. Are there people on your Board or other committees or even amongst your staff and volunteers who can assist you in your communications and marketing efforts? Perhaps you have a Board member who knows someone or an agency that may be able to assist your organisation with pro-bono services, helpful advice or hands on help. Assess well connected members of your organisation to see how you may leverage off their connections and talent to promote your not for profit. Tami Belt says … I serve on the Board of two non-profits and provide my services - PR - for free. Often, non-profits want Board members who can donate money. I don't have money to donate but I provide tens of thousands of dollars of services resulting in 100K in media coverage. Most non-profits - not to mention some for-profit companies - cannot afford to buy that kind of coverage. The coverage can reach those who do have the money to donate, not to mention tap into a volunteer base. 6 Maine Street Marketing
  7. 7. LOW COST PR Tips Work With Other Community Groups and Businesses … Now is a good time for like minded not for profits to see if they can collaborate and work with other community groups and share any costs When dealing with advertising agencies, be prepared to haggle over the advertising price or seek editorial opportunities. Advertising agencies are also finding the climate a little tough and are in a position to offer better prices Work with local businesses to raise funds. Arrange for a local firm to support your cause and in return encourage your members and others to patronise their business. Scott Anthony runs Fox's Pizza Den in Punxsutawney in the US State of Pennsylvania. He suggests charities and volunteer groups select and work with a local business to raise funds. Fox's Pizza Den has partnered with the Make-a- Wish Foundation for nearly 10 years. In the past five years it has been able to grant a wish valued at around $3400 to the Foundation. On top of this his pizza sales for this event have been up nearly 50%. Read more how this arrangement works at 7 Maine Street Marketing
  8. 8. LOW COST PR Tips Actively Seek Donors ... Being involved in the community is a viable marketing strategy for many companies. But non-profits should not wait for donors to come to their door. They need to figure out what they need -not always just money -and which companies can help them get that. Approach them with a proposal of what they will get for what they give. It's a win-win situation. 8 Maine Street Marketing
  9. 9. LOW COST PR Tips Establish A Reputation With The Media … It is good to always try and help the media and not just approach them when you need favours. It is not always about sending media releases. Sometimes it may just be about providing information. Journalists are under pressure with less of them on the ground so they are a busy lot with huge ground to cover and tight deadlines. PR and communications people probably outnumber journalists nowadays so we might as well be useful and helpful to them. It is tempting to fire off media releases to get a sense of being active and busy in our roles. But be cautious about that temptation lest one gains the reputation of constantly sending rubbish to the already heaving inboxes of journalists. The worst mistake is being regarded as an annoying pest by journalists. And that impression tends to stick, especially if you keep leaving messages in their voice mail to "follow-up on the media release you e-mailed" etc. It's all about relationships. In particular build genuine two-way relationships with a broad range of broadcast, print and internet- based media. Think of PR as the equivalent of a 'contact' sport. Cut through is so important in an over saturated information environment. And not easy to achieve. You need to think, act and write differently. Most importantly be strategic. 9 Maine Street Marketing
  10. 10. LOW COST PR Tips Help The Media With Stories, Spokespersons And Materials … Stories Not-for-profit groups may not have a lot of money for publicity and advertising but they are rich in interesting stories particularly to do with volunteers Spokespeople They also have specialised knowledge in their own fields, so offering your CEOs and managers as spokespersons on specific areas is one way of getting media coverage. This is particularly useful if you lead or are seen as an authority in your field. There are lots of ways to approach this but the point is, financial crisis or not, not for profits have an expertise edge. Material Make sure your material is really well-written and newsworthy and contains all the important information that journalists need especially your contact details so they can get back to you if they are interested in your story. Media Releases Sending huge file attachments to the media is a no-no. Just send your media release in e-mail format rather than attaching files that not only eat up kbs/mbs but may also fail to open. 10 Maine Street Marketing
  11. 11. LOW COST PR Tips You don't always need to distribute media releases across the country to every outlet imaginable to get a great result. This is where a great media relationship comes into its own. And you may be able to achieve national coverage in one go thereby saving your spokespeople from doing countless repeat interviews! Write media releases regularly and post them online and through media release distribution services. While these releases might be picked up by journalists, you should be writing them specifically for consumers who will find the releases through the search engines when searching for information. Databases Many PR agencies maintain media lists rather than creating them from scratch each time. Ask for "donated media lists" in return for a "thank you" mention in your media release or other promotional material. 11 Maine Street Marketing
  12. 12. LOW COST PR Tips Use New Media Tools … The next 12 months will see a continuing trend in organizations using new online applications to craft their own content and distribute it to anyone they choose, anywhere, any time at a fraction of the cost of conventional marketing. Set aside this year to shift from communicating vertically through old PR outlets to connecting horizontally through new digital channels. Practical ways to get started using the new media are: • Once you know your message, in addition to media releases, a great way to get your story out – and drive your name up in the search engines – is online. That means you must go far beyond traditional media with your message. • Purchase inexpensive cameras, recorders and software that allow you to create the images, vision, sound and text that tell your story. • Set up a profile on Faceboook and investigate social networking sites that target a specific niche. • Start Twittering and read the free Twitter Handbook at http:// • See how other community groups use tools like Twitter eg • Many areas have online opportunities to post stories and photos often through the online version of their daily papers. Invest time in exploring what is available online in your community. 12 Maine Street Marketing
  13. 13. LOW COST PR Tips Use The Power Of Events And Networking … Events Attending community events and expos as a participant with an informational table, or as a guest with business card in hand, is a great and inexpensive way to reach the public. It is also a great way to informally network with media who often have representatives at the community events and expos. These informal meetings can often begin or further develop a personal relationship which can only help one's efforts in getting seen and heard. Networking Be selective about the events you go to and make an effort to learn a lot from three people you meet at each event (and follow up afterwards). Attend events regularly so you are recognised in your specialty area and always provide referrals if you can. Seek local, national and international coverage so that when people 'Google' you they find relevant references. Make it easy for the media to contact you and recognise your “talent” through their research. If you can’t assist them provide referrals to someone who can. 13 Maine Street Marketing
  14. 14. LOW COST PR Tips Share good news and publish achievements particularly if they create an interesting history. Contact the people on your database at least three times a year to keep your network “alive.” Complete as much as possible online. You can do it at any time, it’s free and it’s “permanent.” Do not write anything you don’t want to be published in the public domain. Aim for long term relationships, providing help whenever you can. Whilst you may provide help to someone who cannot 'return' the favour, something will come of it from elsewhere. 14 Maine Street Marketing
  15. 15. LOW COST PR Tips Get People Talking About You … Community organizations after a single marketing strategy they could use at no cost starting tomorrow should look no further than word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is about people passing on information about you to their friends, families, workmates, professional associates etc. It is becoming more important as we become increasingly tired of the barrage of advertising we face each day. It is the most powerful type of marketing because people will trust people like them before they trust institutions. Word of mouth marketing is free, credible and often fast. Getting tongues talking by: • Identifying and approaching the key people in your field or your community who can help spread the word to others about what you do. • Giving them the facts, figures and stories about your organization and a compelling reason to support you. • Providing simple messages, stories and pass-on tools (brochures, articles for their newsletters, information for their websites etc) to make it easy for key people to spread the word. • Track and measure the impact word of mouth and use free digital tools to track what people say about you on-line. 15 Maine Street Marketing
  16. 16. LOW COST PR Tips Make Everything Count … Always look to recycle or re-purpose any promotional activity you spend time on. Once you take the time and/or money to develop content (recording a video, interviewing someone helped by your agency etc) use it as many places as possible. It may have been created for one use but it can be promoted in many other ways. For example with an event: you invite people individually but also you should create a Facebook event, twitter it, post it in several places on your Web site, in community calendars etc. Then take photos/video at that event and post in all those spots afterward. Host all your video on YouTube instead of your local server. It's free and it can't hurt to have a few more people accidentally see it. And it makes your site look more hip when your video appears in the YouTube "frame." 16 Maine Street Marketing
  17. 17. LOW COST PR Tips Think Long Term … It's a buyers market and troubled times so the natural reaction is to cut costs, renegotiate contracts and push a bit to get an advantage and save a few bucks. However, that is a short term view of a long term situation. People do business with people and they remember what has transpired in the relationship. Troubled times are the best time to cement a relationship and show that you are really in this for the long haul. Everyone will remember that you paid an invoice early when their cash flow was short. They will also remember that you kicked them when they were down. Think of ways you can help those involved and build the kind of trust that will pay exponential benefits in the long run. Finally if you say you will do something with the money/resources you get, then you do it. Never use it for something else or fail to deliver. Otherwise you get a bad reputation in the marketplace and not only lose your first source of funding but many others. 17 Maine Street Marketing
  18. 18. LOW COST PR Tips Go To Resources … Traffic on Maine The Publicity Hound Free Publicity Tips Newcomers Network Inside PR Marketing Edge 18 Maine Street Marketing