Hannah Brazee Gregory
The most important public relationship tip to remember is: Get your story straight.
Arm every volunteer, staff member and board member with a short, specific answer to this question: “I’ve never heard of your organization. What does it do?”
Everyone should be able to answer this question in the same way.
It doesn’t look good when a different answer is given by different people in your organization.
And remember, your organization’s mission statement is not marketing copy or interesting dinner conversation, so don’t memorize and recite it verbatim (tell your board members the same).
What is the first step? Ask this question of staff, board members, volunteers and other stakeholders. By seeing how their responses are different, you will begin to see what work needs to be done to shape your organization’s message.
Plan a working session of at least a half day to go over the answers and the variations, and begin building on getting your story straight.
When developing your core message, it is important to have an open and inclusive process. Listen to everyone and incorporate ideas, concerns and opportunities into the process.
If you want your “foot soldiers” to deliver an impactful, consistent message, you must include them in the development of that message.
Hannah Brazee Gregory is a nonprofit marketing communications expert and founder/managing director of Shoestring Creative Group. Hannah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.835.6236.