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Public Relations for Non-Profit Organizations in Canada

Creating a Plan

By Maryse Cardin

As competition for donor dollars and volunteers continues to increase, public relations can help a non-profit organization stand out from other groups to gather attention from the public.

Working on a Shoestring

The beauty of public relations, compared to many other forms of marketing such as advertising, is that you can achieve success with limited resources. We believe that conducting an effective campaign does not have to break the bank.

Step #1: Create a plan

Like Lewis Carroll wrote, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do." That's very true with public relations. The first step in every successful public relations campaign is to research and draft a plan.

Your plan will need to address the following points:

Determine Your Objectives
What are you trying to achieve and accomplish by implementing a PR campaign? It is only by establishing what your objectives are at the start that you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your public relations work at the end.

Some of the objectives of a non-profit could include:

  • Raising donations
  • Influencing new legislation or public policy favourable to your non-profit mission
  • Increasing the number of clients you serve
  • Attracting more volunteers
  • Educating the public on a certain issue

Next Page: Defining your Stakeholders and Crafting the Message

Maryse Cardin Maryse Cardin is the co-owner of Turtle & Hare Creative, an award winning boutique public relations agency. ( She has worked on campaigns in North America, South America, and Asia for a multitude of clients including News Corporation, the Hain Celestial Group, Toyota and the Nagano Olympic Committee. She teaches public relations at Langara College. Maryse is presently writing a book on women in public relations and the skills it takes to excel in the industry.

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