public relationsIt can be difficult not to feel overwhelmed and powerless when we first become aware of the many serious social issues that plague our world today. To be able to change things for the better, we first must make others aware of these problems, and what steps they can take to help.

A successful PR campaign is one way that we can make others aware of our cause, and encourage them to work with us to increase our impact in our communities. The following public relations strategies can help you grow public support for your mission.

Target Media

When distributing your press releases and other newsworthy items, take steps to ensure that you are targeting the right media outlets. Reach out to media sources that your target audience already uses to stay informed.

Ask yourself the following two questions to help you determine if a media outlet is likely to be relevant to your audience. What types of stories do these specific media channels usually cover? Do any of their journalists cover issues related to your cause?

Once you’ve identified prospective media contacts, cultivate personal relationships with individual journalists. In addition to subscribing to a newswire service, create a database of media contacts to make it easier to share press releases and other valuable information.

Create Stories that Media Will Want to Cover

In addition to targeting who you will share your news with, make sure you are creating stories that the media will want to cover. This will increase the chance that your news items will be picked up and reported.

Focus on Human Interest

Stories that stir our emotions are a favourite with those who both consume and report the news. When crafting your organisation’s news stories, don’t just focus on dry facts and statistics. Shine a spotlight on the human element to show others why your cause matters and why they should support you.

Never Let a Trend Go to Waste

Publishers like stories that “piggyback” on the popularity of topics that are already trending. Your organisation’s news is more likely to be featured prominently if it is centred on a theme that’s currently trending. For example, if your organisation’s upcoming fundraiser will coincide with an important holiday, use this as one of your event’s themes, and feature it prominently in your story, to make it more newsworthy.

Ask Others to Pass the Torch

To encourage the media to cover your NFP’s events, you need to show them that the public is already engaged with your work. One way to do this is to create a social media campaign that asks others to help by participating in a specific activity, and, to then challenge their friends to “pick up the torch” and pass it on. Create a hashtag to make the challenge easier to share and locate on social media networks. Ideally, your activity will ask others to complete an action that relates to your NFP’s mission. For example, if your NFP’s primary purpose is to increase child literacy, challenge others to help by volunteering an hour of their time each week to read to a child, and, to then share their experience of doing so on their social media, and to challenge their friends to do the same.

Share your story, and hashtag, with your media contacts and ask them to pass it on to help raise awareness about your cause!