Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Public Relations in the Non-profit Sector

Early September marked the beginning of a whole new career path. I was starting the Public Relations Graduate Certificate Program at Mohawk College.  We were introduced to several organizations (both real and fictional) that needed greater public awareness strategies. I could clearly envision several tactics to solve those problems for each, and was so excited to “get into the real world” and apply these methods.

 As part of our course requirement, all students in the program must complete a 105 hour internship. I sought a nonprofit placement in order to experience a broad range of duties in the field while making a difference in the community. This was where my grand ideas finally got a much- needed reality check.

In the nonprofit sector, and in many other industries in this economy, the breadths of one person’s duties have expanded. Where an entire department may have been responsible for a role in the past relies on one sole person. There are simply not enough hours in the day to add another task to someone’s plate.

When creating a communications plan, we are taught the SMART formula. Specific, measurable, analysis, realistic, and time bound. In my opinion, realistic is the most important. There are so many things to consider when making a communications plan that is appropriate for your client. Who would do this? When would it be done? And, more importantly, which task must they give up in order to do it?

Everything must be evaluated against the benefits of your new tactic in comparison to the other work that individual may have completed instead. These considerations are especially important in the nonprofit industry, where individuals truly rely on these services in order to receive their everyday needs.             

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