When we launch a marketing and PR campaign for a nonprofit, clients often ask us, “where do we start?” Unless the client is brand new, they already have done marketing. They usually have social media, issued some news releases, maybe put on a special event or two. and more. Usually with minimal success.
What we virtually always recommend is basic. Create a marketing and PR plan. Anybody in business finds this obvious. How can you build a building without blueprints? How can you get from point A to point B without a map or GPS?
So the first thing we do is the plan. And the plan starts with us getting to know the client. If we are to be an nonprofit’s PR strategist, we need to know everything about them. We need to know their strengths and weaknesses. What they have done and what they plan to do.
After we become oriented, we conduct interviews with key personnel to get internal perspectives on their vision for the organization. One would be surprised to learn how people who work at the same entity can have different views of how they are perceived by customers and those they serve.
We put all our research together, give it some thought, conduct additional outside research and create a plan. Often this plan contains an Action Item list of activities and in many instances it also included a crisis communication plan.
Why don’t organizations, nonprofits, create their own plan? Many do. But it often takes an outsider, someone with fresh eyes, to come in and see what they take for granted or assume everybody already knows.
If your nonprofit organization doesn’t have a current marketing and PR plan, or if your plan needs updating, consider creating one or at least a fresh approach. The world changes rapidly, donors come and go, opportunities arise unannounced. Remember, if you are not keeping ahead, or at least keeping up, you are falling behind.