How Can PR Help Build Your Association’s Budget?
By Mark Wright
Don’t treat PR like a box to check. It shouldn’t be, “Yeah, we put out that news release.” Or, “Sure, we posted contents on all of our channels.” Or, “Oh yeah, we remembered to recycle that media alert as a newsletter article.” We hear of these kinds of efforts from all sectors, but from associations and nonprofits in particular. Who can blame them? They’re busy working on solutions, and sometimes marketing comes later. Fortunately, that’s where outsourcing to a good PR firm can help.
Public relations is about much deeper stuff than just crossing things off your to-do list. It’s about your relationship with key audiences. It’s about how you think about yourself and about all those people out there whose support and involvement you seek. It’s about what you really and truly think and feel about your mission.
An association’s well-planned and smartly executed public relations program can support and even turbocharge your efforts to generate revenue from membership, conference registrations and trade show booth sales, publication and website advertising, education programs and certifications, sponsorships and other sources.
PR helps you build your organization’s reputation and credibility. PR helps you shape public perception. And PR at its best reveals the big-picture narrative — and your place in that narrative — that attracts people to you, excites them about your mission, and touches them so compellingly that they ask, “How can I be part of that?!”
Want people to join? Want them to sign up for your conferences and webinars? Want them to volunteer and help recruit others?
Use public relations to connect your story to theirs, your offerings to their needs and goals. Help them literally buy in to the wonderful partnership they can have with you — and help your budget in the process.
Mark Wright is a writer, editor, communication strategist and former association exec, with 30+ years of experience helping a variety of industries and organizations.