Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Creating Powerful PR for Non-Profit Organizations

Sunday night I saw a very touching human interest story on the 11:00 news.  The story highlighted a local children's non-profit organization.  The piece was very heartwarming, the child was wonderful in front of the microphone and the footage was interesting.  With all that said, there was one major problem. . . .

Other than the quick logo splash (of the national logo not the local logo) and a faster mention of the organization's name, there was not much else to link the organization with the story.  A huge opportunity was lost.

What was lost?  The full impact.  What is the full impact?  Telling the compelling story and then giving it a clear call to action. When a viewer is moved by a story they need information on what to do next.  The story I saw Sunday night lacked what to do next, and that was a HUGE mistake.

 Here are a few things to do when your non-profit is pitching a story to the media.
  1. Create a number of calls to action - ask the media to include a phone number, your web address or a specific need (more volunteers, more funds, attend an upcoming event, etc.)
  2. Create a media kit and not only include the press release but add a fact sheet with the mission, and pertinent facts about the organization.  Take it one step further and create a "needs" sheet - list all the calls to action your organization needs at that time.  Also include all this information on your organization's web site.  Have a media page that contains key messages, mission, ways to help the organization, organization's contact person in case a spokesperson is needed.
  3. Create a "Ways to Help" or "Call to Action" page on your organization's web site and include links to on-line giving, volunteer sign-up pages, upcoming events, or any other items your organization may need.
By just doing the few things listed above your story will have full impact.  The story will be compelling, it will grab viewers attention, and then will give them important information on what to do next.  

Most likely your web site visitor count will increase which could prompt visitors to become new supporters.  However, this won't happen if they aren't given the opportunity.  Don't let your organization miss the opportunity like unfortunately this children's organization did.

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