Now, more than ever before, during this difficult economic time, non-profit agencies need to stand out from the crowd. Non-profit public relations campaigns are crucial to helping organizations obtain much needed recognition and donations. Charities must use their public relations staff to position themselves as key resources for the media; they must make every effort to promote newsworthy stories and promptly respond to all media inquiries. In addition, non-profit public relations campaigns should include cleverly designed media-worthy events held at the proper time to capture as much media attention as possible Creativity, more than money, is key to developing a special event that will capture the media spotlight. Now is the time for staff and volunteers to brainstorm truly unique photo opportunities, imaginative public service ads and innovative joint promotions with local stations to win public attention and funding.
Not everyone is in a position to hire a professional publicist to help them brand their business and obtain major media coverage however there are many simple, free, off-line ways you can do your own small business public relations. Here are 10 tips to help you get started:
- Volunteer to lecture – develop a 20-minute well-prepared talk to present at local libraries and community organizations. Be sure to distribute informative hand-outs to the audience that include your contact information.
- Contact your community newspaper and offer to write a column on you area of expertise.
- Be sure to remember to sign your e-mails with you business name, contact number and tagline.
- Attend professional networking events and introduce yourself and your business to as many people as possible – bring lots of business cards.
- Always be sure to ask your customers for referrals and, when appropriate, you can offer an incentive for referrals.
- Try partnering with a business that offers complementary services and share each other’s resources.
- Consider writing a simple monthly newsletter to update your current and potential customers on your latest products and services – be sure to offer lots of useful information so that customers look to your newsletter as an interesting resource.
- Consider offering your product or service as a prize for a local charity event raffle – this will help spread the word about your business – you might even get a free listing in the event program.
- Volunteer your time at a non-profit agency – this positive effort will help you network and make new business contacts.
- Contact your local community access channel and ask to be interviewed.
With just a little public relations effort on your part you can help your business get off to strong start.