This week, we are so thankful that Kate Petrov, Public Relations Officer at the Greenwich Library, has donated her expertise to guest write a blog on a topic that many overlook: nonprofit PR. Kate shares how nonprofits can keep up with the ebb and flow of social media, and stay top-of-mind in their communities.
Guest Blogger: Kate Petrov, Public Relations Officer, Greenwich Library
Managing PR for a nonprofit can be just as easy or challenging as in any other industry. You’re communicating about a service or an idea, and the goal is for the reader to take action. My office is always busy, and we have to be creative within a budget, just like any other PR department.
Here are a few tips for successful nonprofit PR:
Research: With so much information out there, the nonprofit PR professional needs to know it all. I use Twitter to aggregate my news by following leaders in the library and nonprofit worlds, as well as technology and social media leaders, so I can be up to date on the latest news and trends. I’m lucky to work in a learning environment where my colleagues are constantly reading and sharing information. We conducted a community survey last spring as part of our Strategic Planning process, and learned that our patrons would prefer to receive news electronically…and so our e-newsletter was born!
Evaluate: In many ways, the availability of free social media has leveled the playing field. However, there are dozens of new tools. Take the time to evaluate which will meet your organization’s communication goals. Review the demographics—is that who you need to reach? Yes, Pinterest is the latest and greatest, but if your organization doesn’t need to reach women between the ages of 18 and 54, then it’s not the right tool.
Make Your Own News: The demise of traditional media outlets such as daily newspapers and magazines has been widely reported—and yet, we’re in the information age. What’s a PR professional to do? Make your own news! Your constituents are using social media to create their own customized news feeds. Make sure your organization is easy to find. Google yourself or your organization, try creating an e-newsletter or a blog, and share your content through social media.
Let’s Not Hurt Ourselves: We’re lucky to have access to many tools that can make a PR professional’s life a lot easier. My current favorite is HootSuite, which allows you to manage all of your social media feeds and schedule posts in advance. Wouldn’t it be great if you had the time to post a tip every day for the rest of the month? Well, HootSuite can help. Find out which tools your colleagues are using and simplify.