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Public Relations for Non-Profit Organizations in Canada

Choosing the Best PR Tactics for Non-Profit Organizations

By Maryse Cardin

Choose the Best Tactics

It may be through some form of media relations, or a speaking engagement, but each message needs at least one vehicle to be carried to the intended audience. What are the best vehicles for your message? How can you get the word out in the most cost-efficient way? When looking at your options, consider the fact that research shows that a target audience needs to hear your message about five times until they understand it and take action. Therefore, the more times you can reach your target audience the better.

Some public relations tactics that can be of assistance to your non-profit include:

Media Training
Organize a media training session for your spokespersons. The training will enable them to deliver your key messages more effectively and make them better public speakers. Media training is very efficient in helping spokespeople tailor their messages to help you achieve your objectives.

Speaking Events
Send your spokesperson to speak to groups that represent your target audiences. This is an excellent way to position your group as experts on a certain topic and to distinguish your group from others. There are speaking opportunities through speakers bureau and with local professional, business and community groups. The speech topic should of course cover your key messages in a way that will appeal to the group where you are speaking.

Newsletters enable you to communicate with your target audiences directly and to stay top of mind with them. They are also a great way to "build your business" with existing donors and contributors. It's always easier - and more cost effective -- to generate additional support from someone who has already bought into your mission than to appeal to someone from scratch. Utilize the newsletter to provide updates, to feature volunteers, and to talk about the importance of your work. You can also avoid printing and mailing costs by making your newsletter electronic and distributing it via email.

Use your website as a current source of information for your target audiences. Keep it updated every week with new information, events and other features. Make it interactive to provide an easy way for your target audiences to get in touch with you.

Blogs are now emerging as a cost-effective tool of public relations. Blogging provides a less formal, direct way for you to communicate with your target audiences. Blogs present a very big opportunity for savvy communicators to speak in a plain language that is often very appealing to the public.

White Papers
A white paper is usually issue related and becomes the organization's official view on the subject.

Next Page: Extend your Budget and Be Creative
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