Public Relations

The ability to promote your cause to the world is one of the most profound changes the Internet has brought in the last 10-15 years. For instance, if your cause is in the news suddenly, your website stands ready to provide information and the ability for people to act. Its important that you keep your website updated at all times with relevant information so new and repeat visitors can be informed with the latest information.

One problem with the Web is trying to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of nonprofits and all the other people trying to promote their message.

This can be a challenge, and a great way to overcome it is via some public relations to promote your nonprofit via web search engines, news services and influential people who can help get the word out about you. Here are some tips to help you do that:

Publish press releases.

These are great ways to get your cause out to the media and the web.

When to do it :

  • When your cause is in the news and you have a point of view to get across
  • When you have an event coming up
  • After an event to recap it’s success
  • When you’ve reached a milestone or accomplished a goal
  • When you have something new to announce
  • When a prominent new member joins your board

Who to send it to:

  • All relevant media, such as local papers, publications related to your cause, etc.
  • Blogs and online forums related to your cause
  • All your constituents
  • Government officials and policy makers (if relevant)

How to publish them online:

The Web enables you to disseminate your press release widely and have it picked up in search engines like Yahoo and Google. It will appear in both web and news searches. You can release for free through such sites as http://www.free-press-release.com/ or pay to release them through others, such as:

What to write:

  • Make sure to hit all the key points up front, and to use words that people interested in your topic would use when doing a web search. Using these “keywords” will enable search engines and news services to automatically bring up your release.
  • Include contact information so interested parties, such as donors, reporters, blog writers can contact you for more information.
  • Include a link to your website (and conversely, make sure to post the press release to your website to improve your website’s ranking in search engines.
  • List any key event info or call to action that people need to know in order to act on the information
  • Include a quote or testimonial from anyone who can lend credibility to the reason you’re publishing the press release

Publish Articles

Many websites that provide news on specific topics are run by busy people at small organizations. They are always looking for help in creating new content. It’s a great idea write about topics that you have a great deal of expertise, and offer them to these sites for re-use. Make sure you are credited AND have your organization’s website and email listed. Even better, write them a synopsis of your article and have them link back to your website for the complete story (this not only brings visitors, it improves your web site rankings in search engines).

Contact Online Influencers

Political campaigns are great at getting their constituents to contact highly read blogs, forums and websites run by individuals who have a lot of influence on key demographics. All nonprofits should make sure that their staff and other key constituents’ are abreast of the key influencers for their specific area of focus. You should try to build relationships with these groups by providing useful information they can use, similar to writing articles. They are always looking for great content, expert opinions, “man on the street” views, and information to help them get their point of cross. Many nonprofits are in the perfect position to provide all of this, and it’s advantageous that you actively pursue these opportunities.