BOARD MEMBERS WILL LOVE NONPROFIT LEADERS FOR THESE PR STEPS . . .
As a nonprofit, it feels awesome when you get a great story in the newspaper (which IS still a thing), radio, or TV. What's better than making a difference? Getting the community to be part of the journey as well.
Although no one LOVES taking extra steps, here are a few, well, extra steps, we would suggest you have in place in order to not only make for great media blast, but better communication INSIDE your organization as well.
THE GOOD NEWS
Even though sharing good news is fun, board members will love you if you took a few more extra steps:
1) Have a press release plan in place. Who gives out the press releases? How often? What sort of stories are worthy? Who on staff and board are allowed to give quotes and in what priority? These are the types of questions that should be put in a process paper.
2) If you are ever in the news . . . send an email to your board. If there is an article in the paper about one of your programs, you can be sure that your board member's friends might ask them some questions about that program. Although RARELY does anyone get MAD about not being told, it mostly comes down to board members not wanting to look silly if people ask them questions. So help prepare them and even give a few talking points if need, with the last one being . . . if you have any further questions you should talk with our director.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
There is an old saying out there that suggest that when you get in the media . . . any news is good news. Not sure if we can totally get on board with that, but we know this for certain . . . you should be prepared in case bad news comes.
1) Just like you had a plan together for the "good news", make sure you have a media plan in place in case something goes wrong. Having a plan in place and going over that plan with your board and staff is something everyone will appreciate and make people feel more prepared IF something were to ever go bad at your nonprofit.
2) Again, LET YOUR BOARD MEMBERS KNOW. When something goes bad at your organization we know it can be embarrassing to tell board members. There are some Execs out there who know they can take care of the problem and don't think it's a big deal to tell board members, because you don't want to stress them out. Although it might be kind of you to not stress out your board members, truth is, they will be more stressed out if you do not tell them. As with the good news above, giving board members an email with some talking points will make them feel prepared. However, unlike the good news . . . if they start getting questioned about bad news from their friends from something in the media, they may very well be upset for being blindsided if they are not warned ahead of time.
Taking these few extra steps will do nothing but improve your communication and teamwork with your board members. ------------
Midwest Studies Group connects nonprofits to their communities, by providing feasibility studies, annual giving studies, RD planning, strategic planning, and capital campaign support. Learn more at www.midweststudiesgroup.com.