Top PR and Comms Tips for Charities

For charities and organisations that rely on the generosity of supporters, effective PR and marketing is crucial. 

Not only does it help to build awareness of the cause but also encourages all-important donations and support.

However, it’s rare that charities have the same sort of budget for communications that many businesses are fortunate enough to have – let alone the people power and resources to match.

But great PR needn’t cost the earth, as there are several ways you can achieve it by spending little or no money.   

If you run or work for a charity, here are some simple and cost-effective ideas for promoting your work.

Write Case Studies

Rather than telling people why you need their support, you could use case studies to demonstrate how it would help.

Storytelling is powerful and case studies are a way of telling stories; use them to showcase the work you are doing and the positive difference your charity is making, which will help people connect with it on a human level.

For example, if your charity champions young people as they are starting out in their careers then why not do a case study on an individual who has benefitted from your work?

Whether they are written or filmed, you can host case studies on your website and share them on your social media channels as well as use them during presentations or in mailers.

They may also prove useful for any reports you might want to create to gain new sponsors or board members for example.

Case studies can also come in handy when pitching to journalists – especially if there are people featured in them who are willing to be interviewed or photographed by the media.

Get Active on Social Media

Speaking of social media, channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are free to use and can host all manner of content such as photos and video. If you’re not already using social media to your advantage, then start now!

And if you do have some money to spend, then you could always create some targeted ads or boost your posts to increase your reach and engagement among your target audience(s).

Appoint an Ambassador

If you haven’t already got any, it might be worth considering appointing some ambassadors for your charity.

It’s important to choose someone who embodies your charity’s values and is likely to have some time to champion its cause(s).

By having a celebrity of some description as an ambassador, you can take advantage of their fame to generate awareness of the charity and gain more interest from the media. They can communicate your message(s) to their fans, thus reaching a wider audience.

However, your ambassador doesn’t need to be famous; as long as they are passionate about your cause and comfortable with the media, then you should be on to a winner.

Pitch to the Media

This brings us on to another way of promoting your charity: pitching it to the media. And if you have an ambassador or spokesperson, they can be your expert for interview.

If appropriate, you should also consider having someone who has been helped by the charity available for media interviews, as journalists are much more likely to run a story about a charity if they have access to such people.

There are countless charities doing some amazing work, so it can be a battle to get your stories heard, which is why you need to ensure you have a newsworthy angle when approaching a media outlet with your story.

Consider what is likely to be of interest to the outlet or specific journalist, as well as what appeals to people’s emotions.  

Similarly, keep an eye out for any media opportunities that your spokesperson could get involved with by providing a comment and pitching themselves as an expert.  

Journalists are increasingly time poor and many prefer to be contacted via email in the first instance, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back from them straight away.

Get Blogging/Vlogging

Another great way of generating content is to write a blog or make a vlog. Both are a great way of communicating your messages, engaging your following and sharing your expertise.

You can blog about what your charity is doing, share inspirational stories of people who are benefitting from your work, promote upcoming and past events, encourage donations, and more.

Video is king right now, and you don’t need to have expensive kit; simply set up your smartphone on a steady surface (or, better still, invest in a basic tripod), test the sound and lighting, and shoot away.

There are plenty of free apps available that allow anyone to make basic edits.

Whichever option you choose to run with, regularly updating your charity’s website with new content helps to keep it relevant and ranking well on search engines.    

Want to Know More?

Our team is well versed in helping charities and not-for-profit organisations and we are proud of the results we’ve helped generate over the years, which you can check out here.  

We offer a charity discount so that our services are accessible for those with smaller budgets and each year we work on a pro bono basis for a small local charity that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford PR and marketing.

Visit our charity page for more information and contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs.