PR Tips for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are some of the most resourceful and creative organizations I’ve had the opportunity to work for in my career. However, with limited funding and manpower to publicize their services and missions, many can be overlooked by the press and the public.

HCK2 Partners has the privilege of representing a number of prominent Dallas nonprofit organizations, including Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Dallas County, and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. We encourage all of our nonprofit clients, large and small, to take advantage of the free resources available to get their message to the people who may need their services the most.

Our top tips for creating complimentary buzz for your nonprofit are:

  1. Use free press release distribution sites.  For example, Pitch Engineand PR Log allow anyone to post news releases online for free. These help with organic SEO and search-engine pick-up.
  2. Post news on free online community calendars and websites. Many news websites, such as the Dallas Morning News’ NeighborsGo, now allow visitors to post events or stories on their community calendars or blogs. These are often reviewed by editors or reporters and can sometimes result in a published media story. Also, Kimiya International, a new, free, online global community dedicated to humanitarian efforts and nonprofits, recently launched, allowing members to share their stories on the site by posting short stories with pictures, videos and photographs.
  3. Consider social media. Every nonprofit is unique, and so are their target audiences. Determining your target audience will help you choose the best social media platform for your organization, or choose to avoid the situation completely. Generally, for clients who are a good fit for social media, we recommend Facebook Fan Pages and/or organization-focused Twitterand Flickr accounts to help publicize their news and events and drive traffic to their websites. Keep in mind, however, that social media requires a commitment to consistent and continual, quality content to build and keep fans or followers.
  4. Develop long-term sponsorships and partnerships. Media organizations, restaurants, corporations and even marketing and advertizing agencies are sometimes willing to partner with or provide pro-bono services for nonprofits to support events, fundraising and advertising and publicity efforts. Connecting with an established or larger organization can help you gain credibility with the media and your target audience. Contacting community liaisons or marketing representatives of organizations that might have interest in or align with your mission is a good place to start.
  5. Send a monthly or quarterly e-newsletter to your database. E-newsletters save you money on postage and help to keep you organization top-of-mind with updates on two to three events or news items per issue. They also have the potential for additional reach if the recipients forward it on to friends or other contacts.