While all nonprofits are different, they all share common attributes and challenges. Most of those challenges are in marketing, PR and having their voices heard.
Every nonprofit wants the world to know about the great work they are doing. And most deserve to be heard. They want people to know how they are making the world a better place. Some of this desire is self-interest. They want to attract funding, volunteers and Board members. Some is truly altruistic. Wanting the world to know how their services can help.
So why is it so difficult for the average nonprofit to stand out?
First, there are so many nonprofits. Tens of thousands in the country, and thousands in each major city. Competition.
Second, there is overlap. Too many nonprofits do the same thing. They have the same mission. So when the media cover one organization, they won’t cover a similar one that isn’t that much different.
Third, many nonprofits simply don’t understand the media and how to structure a story pitch. They do social media, but social media only hits their circle. The media want certain stories, presented to them in a certain way. This is a PR skill that most nonprofits don’t have.
Fourth, there are many avenues to tell your story. TV, newspapers, internet and social media aren’t the only avenues to attract attention. What are others? That’s where experienced PR and marketing counselors come in.
Last, nonprofits are great at doing their work, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily at telling their stories. Most of our clients lack basic understand, skills and contacts to convey their message. Not their fault. PR and marketing is a skill that takes training, practice and understanding.
The larger nonprofits can afford to hire PR and marketing consulting firms. Smaller nonprofits often can’t. But that doesn’t mean they can’t work with a firm. Some PR and marketing firms will take on small projects for reasonable fees. Having a PR firm doesn’t mean all or nothing.
The moral of the story is PR and marketing is a skill like running a nonprofit is a skill. Everybody can’t do everything. Let the PR experts do the marketing while the nonprofits change the world.