Non-profit organizations differ from profit-oriented organizations in one critical aspect. The former sells causes whereas the latter sells products. To say that hawking a new gadget is way easier than selling a sociopolitical perspective is arguably accurate. After all, everyone can find a use for that aforementioned gadget, even if a person happens to be the least tech-savvy human in the world. As for a cause, many factors will come into play whether a person would buy into it or not.
Personal history, for example, shapes an individual’s worldview. Another might only shrug off a cause that’s personally relevant to one person. That is why non-profit organizations have their work cut out for them. They need to sell a cause so they can support that cause. The first order of business is to get people to listen. Ideally, they get convinced too.
That demanding challenge may be eased by non-profits partnering with a public relations agency. The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as a “strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” This very definition aligns with what non-profit organizations are about. Building communities. Fostering change.
Here are ways in which a collaboration between a non-profit and a public relations expert will benefit the former.
Non-profits need to cement a level of credibility first before getting the media mileage they need to reach a broader audience. A public relations expert can help by booking non-profit representatives for speaking engagements and community events. These might not be as powerful as guesting in a morning show that airs throughout the country, but they are a good start. These are opportunities to tell your story. Why you do what you do. A non-profit that gets the storytelling right, with the help of a PR expert, is on its way to success.
PR experts know how to work with different communication channels. They are also adept at fashioning a message into its most palatable form. These two competencies are essential for raising awareness about the cause that your non-profit champions.
Moreover, public relations can also enhance a non-profit’s level of transparency. In terms of conducted activities and their community impact, for instance. As well as how the donations received were used. With the public aware of these pieces of information, the legitimacy of a non-profit is established. More people will become interested in lending their support.
Attracting and retaining volunteers
Speaking of support, most non-profits rely upon the help of volunteers to accomplish daily operations. Again, this will require tapping the right audience. Recruitment can be time-consuming. Alternatively, a non-profit’s PR partner can maintain relationships with communities engaged by the organization. From these groups, volunteers will naturally step up. That is, if the existing relationship has been nurtured enough, which is the PR expert’s job.
Non-profits need donors to continue working on their projects. Unfortunately, two-thirds of non-profit organizations fail to go beyond the $500,000 mark in yearly donations. This is where a PR strategist comes in. They know where to look for leads. How to attract those leads’ attention. And how to build enough rapport with them to ensure those leads sign a check bearing a non-profit’s name. Consider working with a PR agency as paying for fast food and getting a six-course meal from a fancy restaurant in return.
Non-profits have a lot on their plate. From plotting projects to managing volunteers, the list of tasks that need to get done seems endless. These tasks should align with a strategy-driven operational paradigm. That’s something a PR practitioner can help non-profits achieve. The former knows what strategies will best suit a specific non-profit. That means doing away with haphazardly approached programs. Everything will be purpose-driven.
Non-profits have an admirable organizational paradigm. It is safe to say that they have an invaluable impact on the world at large. What governments miss on, they pick up the slack. For their efforts to continue, they need widespread support. Public relations as a method of communication is adept at that kind of job.
The partnership between PR agencies and non-profits is a match made in heaven. It can only yield desirable results. So if you head your own non-profit efforts and you want your cause to be the next talk of the town, it’s high time you contact a PR agency. This is the kind of investment you need to make. The rewards will be worth it.