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  • Writer's pictureAlexson Calahan

Maximizing Impact: When to Bring in a Public Relations Consultant for Nonprofit Leaders and Entrepreneurs

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Whether you are an entrepreneur, a communications team of one, or part of a larger organization, bringing in a public relations consultant can make life easier on so many levels. We are here to help expand capacity, guide you on key opportunities, and help you make the most of each moment you get to reach out through media. Here are a few times bringing in outside PR help may make all the difference:

You want to share a complex message via the media and need the CTA to be clear.

There is nothing worse than botching a media opportunity with murky messaging or a flat call to action. Public relations professionals will help you tighten up those messages and train your spokesperson to deliver a clear story and compelling next step.

You want to let the world know what your expertise is in.

Whether you want to increase brand visibility, reach new audiences, or establish credibility within your industry, a PR consultant can develop tailored strategies to elevate your brand's profile. From securing media placements to organizing events and partnerships, PR professionals can amplify your brand's presence and enhance its reputation. This is true for both small businesses and non-profit organizations.

Marketing is falling flat.

If you've invested in Google ads, social ads, print ads and are still not seeing new folks coming to your organization, you might have a trust issue. Public relations helps introduce you (and your organization) to the world as the impactful expert you are. This builds trust with those you want to take action and brings them into your world.

You need more friends in your corner.

Nonprofits regularly work with legislators to educate them about the difference between good policy and bad policy when it comes to their area of expertise. Legislators appreciate this, but the best people to talk to legislators are their constituents. You need a clear plan and a compelling message to gather advocates for your organization. Public relations can be the bridge that helps you build mutually beneficial relationships between your organization and the folks who can help you have more power with policymakers.

You keep hearing, “I wish I had known about you sooner!”

This is a great thing to hear because it validates the value you bring to your market. But, when you hear it, it signals missed opportunities - whether you are a non-profit leader or a small business owner. Through research and planning, PR pros can help you be on the minds of your most likely supporters so that more of the right people learn about your work and consider joining you.

You always have to explain what you do.

Sometimes, those of us who started a service-based business based on our expertise in one area can geek out on it so hard that we are incomprehensible to others - even those who might likely need our services. Or, folks working on a complex technical part of our world may not be able to explain the impact of their work on everyday folks. A messaging audit and refresh can help with this. There is nothing most PR pros love more than refining your messaging so that you can mush it and mold it to use across channels and media opportunities, building your brand and your position in the minds of your likely supporters.

You feel like a best-kept secret.

It sounds cute to be a best-kept secret, but it really signals a lack of awareness among your key audience. Public relations pros can help you identify who these folks are, where they hang out, and how you can let them know who you are, why you are awesome, and what they need to do to join your amazing work.

You get nervous thinking about a potentially sensitive issue.

The best time to plan for a crisis is before it hits and a PR professional will be able to help you identify potential crises and sensitive issues and develop a plan to respond that cushions your brand from an unhinged media spiral. Every organization needs at least a basic crisis and issues plan.

You know you have a story to tell, but aren't sure how.

Reaching out to the media and securing earned media can be daunting. It requires story-finding and -telling skills, a knowledge of outlets and journalists, and the ability to succinctly make a pitch, train spokespeople, and measure results. PR consultants have expertise in media relations, enabling them to pitch stories, secure interviews, and manage inquiries from journalists on behalf of your organization.

You need more hands!

It can be helpful to bring in a PR consultant to cover Communications staff leaves or fill the gap as you look to make a new hire. Short-term arrangements like this require a nimble consultant who knows your industry and can come up to speed quickly.

Our favorite projects are the ones where we get to work alongside people and organizations doing good in the world and show them off to the folks who can help them do even more. We are here to make sure there are brighter days ahead and we'd love to help on your next project.

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