When you engage in public relations as a non-profit organization, every move must be strategic and thoughtful. The road to visibility can be long and arduous, and there is nothing more important than your integrity and your reputation. For more than three decades, we have been providing counsel and service to organizations and public figures in the Christian and non-profit sectors. We’ll unfold ten things we’ve learned.
#10 Never Give Up
Many organizations treat contact with media and other public relations actions like to a trip to the dentist. An unpleasant necessity they turn to when something dramatic happens. Unfortunately, those rare forays to media aren’t an effective public relations program any more than a rare trip to the dentist is a complete oral hygiene program. Both require regular and ongoing care.
Often, groups think of contact with the media when they have a new program, are celebrating an anniversary, or have new personnel who see the need for new external initiatives. When media don’t respond to their overtures because it’s the first time they’ve ever heard of the group or have no other history with them, organizations throw their corporate hands up in disgust and write off public relations as a waste of time and money.
Others meet the media for the first time when crisis strikes.
You can’t go to the media with good news in January, avoid them for months or years as some bad news hits, then expect them to print your story when things turn around. There’s not relationship there.
Start communicating long before you have a major story to tell, and before you’re forced to tell your story. And don’t stop communicating when the band stops playing. The single worst thing your company can do is to stop communicating with your external publics, beginning with media.
You need to have a consistent, solid presence in the media. Although you can blow your reputation in a day, it takes a long time to build one.