PR has come a long way since the days of churning out press releases on the wire. Today, PR professionals in the charity sector must utilise a range of social media channels, create more content, liaise with journalists, bloggers and potential influencers, and most importantly, continually tell their brand stories.
But digital PR is also allowing charities to create both big scale campaigns, as well as smaller, more targeted content, enabling them to connect with the right people, in the right place and at the right time - and of course, raise funds. Here are just a few ways the online space is helping charities reach their fundraising goals…
1. Using social media to increase reach
The web has allowed something that once would have been static, written news to become dynamic through the use of visual and video assets. And of course, social media, through which stories and news can be told and retold endlessly with social shares.
The Sick Children’s Trust use their Facebook in a great way, posting compelling content and leveraging their large following to increase their online presence. And with timely, audience specific content comes a greater reach, and greater opportunities for fund raising.
2. Making the most out of your content on Google
Finding out about different charities through searching for the issues they represent can pose a challenge. Since Google is always trying to evolve their spiders to act more like human beings, fresh, unique and relevant content has never been more important. The use of your website to post relevant press releases, blogs and stories is a great way to improve your SEO!
Creating different types of content whether it's blog, video or infographics means that you are satisfying the consumption habits of a wide audience. Generations are now growing up with Youtube as more than just their source of ‘funny cat videos’ and actually using it to consume daily news. A great example of this is Stroke Association who use images and videos in their brand newsroom content to illustrate how they are helping the victims of Stroke rehabilitate and restart their lives.
3. Breaking Stories in minutes not days
We want news to be faster, shorter and easier. Digital PR allows for charities to break news faster than ever before. A piece of content can be written, distributed and posted to social channels for readers and journalists to digest within minutes. Twitter has become a great source for companies to react when crisis strikes to not only bring attention but also raise emergency funds. UNICEF use their Twitter account to promote their seasonal fundraising activities as well as any new disasters around the globe that require emergency aid.
Digital has changed the way people interact with various tasks in their life. PR and communications is one of those things. Using a variety of digital tools to maximise your visibility and online reach, and used in the most appropriate way, is going to reap benefits in the long term. Having a rounded PR approach is key to achieving success in your goals, whether it is direct fundraising or just getting your name out there. This will also allow you to stay future proof and ahead of the PR curb.