Seeking Investment? Invest in Your Profile
If you work for a charity or social enterprise, you’ll constantly be seeking new prospects – individuals, companies and foundations who might ‘get’ your message and want to fund your work going forwards.
However, you’ll also know that prospecting can be time-consuming and disheartening. So, wouldn’t it be great if new donors found YOU? One of the ways to make this happen is through smart and strategic public relations.
I have a number of clients who work me for that very reason – to raise their profile, tell their stories, highlight their good work and build visibility amongst those who matter.
Before I elaborate, when did you last Google your organisation? What comes up, apart from your website and social media? If you haven’t been in the news over the last couple of years and a Trust or Foundation receives your funding application, Googles you and finds nothing, they may be sceptical about your claims. We can all talk ourselves up but if no-one else is, how much weight do our claims carry?
So what can you do?
Consider the stories you could be telling in your local area. What activities or events are coming up which would interest your local community? By telling the human stories of your charity’s work, you will start to build a stronger profile, make connections and show your worth. By doing so, you can get in front of prospective funders who can begin to understand where you’re coming from, and where you’re going.
When you generate good coverage, people learn more about your work and want to get involved.
When you generate really good coverage, you might even get calls from prospects wanting to learn more, volunteer and donate. Put simply, press coverage provides good ‘social proof’ that what you are doing matters. Approaching a new prospect with some press cuttings, online links, TV or radio clips might just nudge your prospect towards making a gift.
Perhaps you’re about to launch a specific, targeted campaign. This is where the media can have an even stronger role to play, attracting public interest, driving traffic to your site and increasing donations. Catching the interest of the media can be tricky and they can’t run every story they receive, so drill down to the important bits. What are the challenges your campaign will address? Whose story can you tap into to bring these messages to the fore? What difference will your campaign make in your local community? Could you involve a high-profile figure to endorse your efforts? And, if you manage to secure some coverage, share, share and share again, whether through your database, website or social media.
Of course, it’s not just about the print and broadcast media but also your online profile. By writing meaningful, engaging blogs and sharing them on your social media platforms, you can take a softer approach and highlight your human side, positioning your charity as a credible and caring voice and fostering new relationships. Again, blogs also boost your SEO efforts, driving target audiences to your website while educating them about the work you do.
And, of course, it’s not just YOU who will benefit from the heightened profile which strong PR brings. All press releases should refer to your funders and, although newsdesks aren’t obliged to run your release verbatim, they may well give a nod to the people and groups who fund you, raising their profile in the process.
Almost any organisation can get lucky with the press now and then but, to gain maximum coverage over a sustained period, it takes good planning and hard work. Great PR rarely just happens. Get in touch to find out more – 07912 324 264 or email email@example.com.