Your budget is tight, staffing is slim, and you certainly don’t have extra funds for an expensive agency. How can you leverage your public relations and social media marketing efforts on a shoestring? In this month’s guest post, media and public relations professional Beth Bourgeois, outlines some simple tips to help your nonprofit leverage its PR and social media marketing efforts.
- Have a Plan: Work Smarter, Not Harder
Just as your athletes work with coaches to create a training plan to get them ready for competition, your organization needs a strategic PR and marketing plan built on the organizational goals you want to achieve. Examples include building awareness, increasing athlete attendance and fundraising.
- Define your Target Audience
Media is a given, we all want positive media coverage. Make sure you have current contacts and that you are constantly nurturing your relationships with the media.Aside from media, create your marketing and PR materials geared with the audience you want to communicate with in mind. For example, if you’re targeting donors, how will you use storytelling and key messaging to appeal to them and move them toward opening their wallets?
- Go beyond the press release
Press releases are great but what other vehicles are you using to promote your organization’s story? How about a blog from your program’s head coach about an adaptive drill he’s had success with? Establish your nonprofit as a thought leader by sharing best practices and then share them on your social media channels. How about local stories about your athletes and your programs? Promote them and showcase how your organization is unique and stands out from others and help build your reputation in the process.
- Think of social media in the same terms — posts should include key messages, useful to your audience and part of you overall communications strategy.
- Be Consistent and Persistent
Make sure your language and messaging are consistent. Equip team members who will be interacting with the media with talking points and media training. Share your key messages regularly with your team, supporters, sponsors and volunteers. These folks can become brand ambassadors on behalf of your organization. Reach out to your loyal supporters and use their testimonies in the stories and materials you share or have them increase the reach of your message by sharing on their social media channels.
- Monitor & Measure Results
What worked? What didn’t? Track the results of your outreach. Did you achieve your goals? Don’t abandon your PR efforts, rather, consider making small tweaks, such as frequency and timing on social posts and adjust as needed.
I know we’re just scratching the surface here but hopefully these tips will help you in your PR and social media marketing efforts. Have questions? Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.