Canadian Careers - Public Relations Articles
Public Relations for Non-Profit Organizations in Canada
Hiring a PR Practitioner and Measuring Success for Non-Profit Organizations
By Maryse Cardin
Hiring a PR practitioner
An important thing to consider is whether to hire a public relations practitioner to do the job. There is a misconception that only large corporations have the budget for PR. In fact, the rates of many experienced freelancers - traditionally more affordable than agencies -- are quite reasonable and they work in flexible ways. For example, you can hire a freelancer to help you develop a plan which your non-profit could then execute internally, or your practitioner could implement aspects of the plan which are most challenging.
You can also look at working with coop students or with recent graduates eager to get experience and build their portfolio. PR is a very competitive field where people have to demonstrate the ability to hit the ground running in an agency or corporate setting to be hired. Contact local colleges and universities to look for a practitioner. Langara College has a very good public relations program that graduates about 12 new practitioners each semester.
You can also turn to the student committees of the local chapters of public relations associations such as the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) or the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS).
Another option is to recruit a public relations practitioner as a volunteer or even board member as they will be bringing their expertise with them. Several non-profit groups now have communication committees comprised of industry professionals.
Measure your success
Decide on a reasonable timeline to see if your efforts have generated results. Look results generated by your work such as increased grant monies and donations. Once you have implemented a successful campaign, it becomes easier to convince your board or other supporters of the benefits of an ongoing public relations program.