January 2014
Communications & public relations advice for nonprofits                                                                                                                                                                                                

  Brought to you by your friends at Anat Gerstein, Inc.  

Make Your 2014 Communications Program Work

Of the two images below, which one more closely resembles your organization's communications function?

The fact is: a comprehensive, integrated communications program will produce results. Organizations today cannot continue to maintain that they don't have the time and resources to invest in a strong communications program. 

Below are five tips to improve your organization's communications efforts in 2014. There's no day like today to get started.

In this newsletter, esteemed WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer shares tips on how to pitch his show.  We're huge Brian Lehrer fans.  Really, we have a mad crush on him. So we are particularly grateful that he is offering advice.

Finally, a new Nonprofit Excellence Awards season is about to kick off.  The very popular Pathways Workshops start later this week (the first two are sold out), but stay tuned here for additional workshops about best management practices for nonprofits.

All the best,
The Anat Gerstein, Inc. Team
Anat, Jeff, Katrin, Zac, and Joanna
Tips for Improving Your Communications Program in 2014


We'll skip the basics since you likely already know the components of a solid communications program (a good website that holds people's attention, email marketing, social media, traditional media, promotional collateral like newsletters and annual reports, etc.). 


To ramp up your communications, here are five steps you should take in 2014:


Make Communications a Priority

Do you have regular meetings to discuss finances, fundraising, and programs? In 2014, put an equal emphasis on communications by setting up at least one monthly meeting to discuss progress, impact, and next steps for your communications plan. (You can learn more about creating a plan here.)


Make Communications Everyone's Responsibility

You can't have an effective communications program that produces results if you isolate the communications function. Make sure your staff is actively involved in your communications effort and invested in its success.  


You can do this by having members from various departments attend the monthly communications meeting and make them all contribute to the program's success. How? Make everyone responsible for providing stories and content for newsletters, social media, press, the website, and more.


Target Your Communications 

Not all your stakeholders are interested in the same content. Funders, your social media community, government folks, reporters and your board may all be generally interested in what you do, but they are likely to be engaged through different information and stories about your work. 


Spend time up front tailoring your content for each stakeholder group and you will see better results.


Share Content Across Multiple Platforms

We see this all too often:  

  • An organization gets a nice press story but doesn't get it in front of funders, supporters, and sometimes even their staff!
  • An annual report is mailed out, but not shared via social media and is immediately buried on a website.
  • An executive director speaks at an important conference or hearing. The occasion inadvertently becomes the organization's best kept secret.

In 2014, take 10 minutes at your monthly meeting to discuss how you'll get every communications-related success, event, or accomplishment in front of all potentially-interested audiences.


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

So is video.  


This year, try to tell stories - about the organization and people you serve - through pictures, video, info graphics, and very little text.




Pitching Notes:


Brian Lehrer

Host, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show


The Brian Lehrer Show is a daily morning call-in program that covers politics and life, locally and globally. Guests include politicians, cultural figures, scientists, authors, actors, activists and average citizens. 


We look for issue-oriented guests doing important work or with something original to say, especially if relevant to major social problems or cultural trends. 


Pitches with strong news hooks, relevant to current events, are helpful. We're especially interested in individuals with compelling true personal stories of relevance to the issue in addition to professionals working with the issue, and guests who add to the diversity of our program.  


Send pitches to blshow@wnyc.org

anat gerstein inc.

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