The Canadian Public Relations Society defines public relations as:
Public relations is the strategic management of relationships between an organization and its diverse publics, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals, and serve the public interest.
Flynn, Gregory & Valin, 2008
Public relations (PR) essentially is how you influence what someone thinks of your organization through building a relationship with them. In broad terms, it includes how you reach people with your key messages outside of paid advertising and listen to what they are saying.
- Special events
- Speaking engagements
- Media relations
Public relations is not directly about marketing communications or selling. Rather it is about getting people to think about you and influencing what they think and do. Those efforts may lead to decisions to purchase or donate but that is not the primary objective.
We get your nonprofit the attention it deserves
Communicate & Howe! has effectively used public relations to deliver important messages in the past. For example when at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto, James Howe invented the Amazing International Food Race that saw teams of two go around Toronto Amazing Race style to different cultural food stores. The race helped make a couple important points:
- too many newcomers to Canada were using foodbanks despite having advanced education and/or experience as professionals
- food banks needed culturally appropriate foods for users who didn’t grow up on boxed macaroni and cheese
- financial gifts to food banks help them to buy the food that they need the most and use their bulk buying power
Coverage of this event included:
- radio interviews
- TV and newspaper coverage
- e-mails to supporters and encouraging them to resend
- publicized on website
Communicate & Howe! can help use a variety of public relations techniques to help you get the attention you deserve and need.