Building Successful Campaigns on a Shoestring Budget
Mar 19, 2019
Some nonprofits have it made. They have well-established brands, deep communications teams, and big budgets. They get huge donations and multi-year grants from wealthy donors, foundations, and corporate partners. They have great websites and cool videos, and their spokespeople are the go-to source for the media.
For most nonprofits, however, that scenario is far from reality. They have limited budgets, a lean staff who wear a lot of hats, and each day becomes a challenge to see how far they can stretch their resources to serve more people. When it comes to public relations, they tend to think tactically rather than strategically because their primary focus is an urgent need to raise more money. It’s a difficult cycle that constantly depends on coming up with new creative ways to manage their resources as efficiently as possible.
Pushkin PR has been helping nonprofits develop cost-efficient, effective strategic communications plans and campaigns for more than 20 years. We understand the challenges nonprofits face and we have the experience to help them maximize their budgets to increase their brand awareness. From our experience working with nonprofits, there are some common themes we hear consistently regardless of the client.
Why Do Our Competitors Get More Attention?
Any Denver PR professional can tell you that the complaint they hear most often from nonprofit clients is that they feel like they are a well-kept secret. They are envious that their competition gets more media attention and they don’t understand why the media doesn’t share their stories or cover their events. Most likely, their competitors have a solid communications plan that includes consistent media outreach, a well-designed website, an active social media program and a coordinated team effort to tell compelling stories. If your executive director or board is convinced the media only tells negative stories or if you put something on social media it will only generate negative comments, it’s no wonder you are a well-kept secret.
We Can’t Do it All
There are only so many working hours in the day, and there is only so much money. When nonprofit professionals are forced to wear too many hats it can be difficult to know where to start, let alone to determine the best and most cost-effective ways to meet their communications goals. From fundraising to marketing to creating nonprofit public relations strategies to social media management — where should you put your resources to achieve the biggest return? Engaging a Denver public relations firm like Pushkin PR can be a cost-effective way to ensure your organization has the strategic focus and bandwidth that is essential to the success of your organization.
We’re Too Busy
A significant role that public relations play is to help organizations understand their brand promise and communicate it effectively to all their stakeholders, whether it’s through blogging, developing a thought leadership strategy, or creating social media posts. Fortunately, there are tools and resources that PR firms use that can help you maximize your time. There are keyword research and analytics tools, plugins that allow you to add social media sharing buttons, and more to make these tasks easier and quicker. Certain tasks require long-term strategies, but they can have a big impact on your brand awareness.
How Can We Do PR When We’re Busy Raising Money?
This is a bit of a chicken and the egg question — when you’re busy raising money, how can you develop a strong communications strategy; but without a strong communications strategy, how can you effectively raise money? Nonprofit public relations starts with developing a strategy for the future along with creating criteria to measure your success along the way. One of the metrics may be how much money was raised, but others may be how many new members the campaign attracted, or how many people attended an event. But without a plan in place and specific steps on how to get there, it is difficult to measure your success.
If you’re a nonprofit struggling with a confusing brand or a limited budget, contact our Denver PR firm. We can help you develop a comprehensive communications strategy designed to meet your goals.
Jon Pushkin is the president and founder of Pushkin Public Relations, a full service Denver PR firm. He likes dogs, baseball and swing, in that order.