Now that most nonprofit organizations have shifted to virtual offerings and limited in-person experiences, there’s a need to experiment with messaging, content, and storytelling. Who are we becoming in this new world, and how do we continue telling our stories during this shift? Last month, Jack Berkman, who has been in the field of public relations for decades, facilitated a PR Bootcamp over Zoom to give us the tools we need for this work.
Learn and Live the 3 Cs
Good PR gives you agency to articulate your story and brand message through influential mediums such as radio shows, television, social media, press, and more. Under the umbrella of PR, Jack has a “3C Rule” for messaging.
- The work you do doesn’t stop, even in a pandemic. As the work continues so do the stories that you want to tell. While it may be daunting to plan for consistent content, there are tools to help such as this social media content calendar from Later Media.
- Nonprofits live at the intersection of compelling and urgent. The need – whether it’s food security, racial equity, or economic support – is inherently compelling because it fuels your work, which fuels the stories you tell and how urgently you tell them.
- How do you measure impact? Utilize your data to determine the metrics of the need and how your work has either met it or exceeded it. This is where “concise” comes in. Make sure that your messaging weaves the story with the data. This blog post from Coastal Roots Farm does a great job demonstrating the intersection of the farm’s work and Jewish tradition.
Cultivate New Ambassadors
Traditionally, ambassadors of a non-profit include the board, staff, funders, and clients. In this digital age, everyone can be your ambassador! As social media continues to be the entry point to your organization, think about your discoverability across different platforms such as Instagram. This platform, now owned by Facebook, continues to be the epicenter of storytelling with their suite of tools that help you tell stories geared for mobile users. When people believe in the work you are doing, they will share it widely and proudly. How and where can your messages reach new audiences?
Think Deeply About How Your Story is Changing
With COVID-19 halting physical gatherings, organizations have to pivot how they’ll deliver physical services safely. Just in Time for Foster Youth recently held their College Bound program, which equips college-age foster youth with the tools, technology, and support they need to navigate college, with a mix of virtual events and a drive-thru event that allowed the students to still receive the items they needed in a contact-less way. The theme for this year’s event was “Virtually Unstoppable,” a message that reshapes how JIT provides services and provides an affirmation to the new students. Watch their video about the event below.
The past few months have made us shift to digital life at a rapid pace, leaving us with a bit of whiplash when it comes to adjusting our messaging and stories. As we settle in to this changed world, our practices for messaging and storytelling must change with it. We hope these tools make that shift a bit easier.
The Hive would like to thank Jack Berkman for leading us through the PR Bootcamp. If you’re interested in Jack’s services, you can find them here.