We were recently invited to speak at a FINZ (Fundraising Institute of New Zealand) luncheon to share our expertise on raising brand awareness and making the most of communications. We absolutely love working with not for profit organisations, so this was the perfect opportunity to help some NFPs with raising their profiles and meet some lovely people as well!
Raising brand awareness is all about a couple of things – communicating to key stakeholders to ensure that they stay familiar with your cause or business and continue to support you, and increasing public awareness. To increase public awareness, PR is a hugely powerful tool. It’s all about combining the two words public + relations – in other words, it’s about knowing who the public are and what they like or want, and it’s about creating relationships – with the public, with the media, and with those who support and represent you.
With any PR or communications, knowing your audience and key messages is vital.
When thinking about your target audience, it’s important to:
- Think about who currently uses or supports your service, and who could in the future.
- Segment an enormous audience into smaller chunks and cater your communications to these groups – for example, think about how differently a teenager would respond to an elderly person
- Choose the right channel (PR, newsletter, website, blog, etc.) to reach the audience you are targeting
- Don’t forget about stakeholders like funders, suppliers, and government organisations.
- Do your research – make Google your friend, ask for feedback, hold focus groups, or talk to those in your organisation who have the most contact with supporters/customers.
To define your brand, make sure you know your key messages. To do this:
- Consider your purpose – do you want to inform, educate, or initiate action? What do you want them to think or feel? What is your call to action?
- Craft your key messages – keep it concise and clear, don’t confuse your key messages with the topic of your communication, and make sure it is relevant to your audience and tells them something new.
- Test your key messages on yourself, a colleague, and a friend outside of the organisation
- Make sure all key players and spokespeople know the message
Once you’ve identified your target audience and key messages, it’s time to act! Whether you write a direct mail campaign, adapt your website, or start a PR campaign, the most important thing is just to do something. With that in mind, we’re willing to spill a few of our tips for crafting the perfect press release, ready for you to get out to media and get some brand coverage.
To craft the perfect press release:
- Be concise
- Don’t forget your key messages
- Supply high resolution images
- Provide all contact information
- Make it easy to read
- Have a good cover letter
Although our presentation also dealt with topics such as dealing with sensitive causes, and leveraging timely events, we thought we would leave you with a few tips that anyone can use, regardless of budget, starting right now.
- Get social! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – whatever your choice, just adopt a “create or curate” approach and make sure you update it regularly
- Put your events on free event sites like Eventfinda to share what’s coming up and get under the noses of thousands of people all over the country
- Leverage the content you have already created – use the same story for newsletters, press releases, and more – just make sure you adapt it depending on the medium and channel you’re using
- Know your people – take advantage of skills or networks that people in your organisation may have to save money
Now that you’ve heard a few of our tips, here are our top four next steps – things you should do straight away!
- Identify your audience(s)
- Figure out your key messages
- Get out there and DO something!
- Call Intelligent Ink (you didn’t think you’d get away without just the tiniest sales pitch, did you?) – we can help you if you can’t find the right words, or the time to slave over them.