Most, if not all, large corporations have some kind of public relations or media relations team. These teams do a number of different tasks including distributing news about the company, speaking for top executives, creating special events, and overall monitoring and making sure the company is flattering to the public. But what about some of those non-profits that are a little less known or don’t have the money to employ top public relations practitioners?
A look at a Case Study
I did some research on the public relations of some top-name charity and thrift stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I read a case study about how one division of the Salvation Army in Pennsylvania goes about distributing news. The Salvation Army is primarily non-profit and relies on the goodwill and donations of community members. That being said, a non-profit like this has little money to spare for a public relations or marketing team. Not having much money to work with, Virginia Knor, the director of marketing and public relations for the Western Pennsylvania Division of the Salvation Army, made a smart move. Knor used PR Newswire to distribute press releases about the company. Knor’s press releases would be picked up by journalists in her area who would further spread the news about the Salvation Army. This is a great way for this non-profit or other companies struggling with little money to spare for PR and promotion to still get information out to the public.
I think what Knor did for the Salvation Army is a smart, thrifty idea. She still was able to spread the news to journalist and the public about what was happening within her company without spending any money. What she did also saves a lot of time. Submitting a press release onto a host like PR Newswire is a money saving idea to still generate publicity. In this specific case study, Knor’s results were impressive. She said through the submission of her press releases online that later led to local and international inquiries generated over $1 million in donations for the Salvation Army.
Public Relations the Thrifty Way
Through my coursework in public relations, I’ve learned a number of ways to promote a company in thrifty ways. Any non-profit, business starting, or company that does not have a ton of money to spend on PR can still get the word out without breaking the bank.
Here are my suggestions
1) Like Knor did, use websites like PR Newswire to submit press releases
2) Build relationships with journalists. This is a vital part to gaining publicity. Reach out to journalist with press releases who would be interested in covering your company.
3) Create word-of-mouth publicity. Chatter is free and ask your clientele to tell friends, coworkers, or family members about what is happening at your company or business.
4) Find thrifty options. Create fliers, brochures, or business cards on your own to distribute to potential customers.
Public relations and marketing can be costly, but it does not have to be if you remember to stay thrifty.