In a non-profit setting, the PR team usually wears several hats; they are the backbone of the organization. They help define its message and they bring that message to the public. Here are some of the more common challenges that non-profit agency and in-house PR teams face, and how you can overcome them.
Challenge: Your brand story doesn’t hit the emotional markers.
Solution: People are looking for a story they are drawn to. When you present your brand, you need to include emotional appeal. When you touch someone emotionally, you have the power to motivate, inspire, and get them thinking. If you want volunteers to be drawn to your organization to give their time, the catalyst is touching their hearts first.
Advocacy and Public Education
Challenge: Your target audience is not engaged.
Solution: If you want to engage people you have to pre-determine your target audience, tailoring your content and outreach to connect with them 1-on-1. To help create emotional appeal, get personal. Use real people to tell their stories and create a connection with your target audience. You may also need to narrow your target audience search parameters. Age, gender, physical location, education and income are all important factors to consider. Remember, not everyone is a potential volunteer, member, or donor. While everyone may know someone who is, that’s really casting too large a net. Your best bet is to rein it in and rethink just who you are targeting.
Challenge: It isn’t easy getting people to back an organization with their money.
Solution: Lead with emotions in your marketing messages. Then back it up with facts. Tell a success story of what your organization achieved last year. Explain how you used the funds to benefit your non-profit mission. How many people do you help each year? And how many more could you help if you met your fundraising goals for the coming year? These are just a few of the the things potential donors will want to know.
Attracting New Members
Challenge: You aren’t maximizing your social media reach.
Solution: Non-profit marketing budgets are often small, that’s a universal truth. However, social media is free. The challenge is effectively using staff time, but if your team is already stretched thin, consider outsourcing the posts and using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule them so you aren’t posting individually. Create your social media calendar for one to three months in advance, then put the information into your scheduler. Social media is a good tool for finding new potential members and attracting them to your organization.
Communicating Your Message
Using broadcast outreach effectively can help you communicate the identity of your organization and how you contribute to the needs of your community. Audio and video marketing are powerful tools for reaching both those in need and potential donors. Create and distribute PSAs and audio news features that spell out the benefits your organization brings to the community. Hearing a human voice delivering the message is extremely effective. It helps forge a connection to the organization and when combined with strong emotional appeal, can prompt action. Best of all, radio and TV stations do not charge for airing your public service message and they can help you reach sizable audiences.
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