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Posts Tagged ‘business reputation’

Being successful at garnering positive media coverage of your nonprofit and its events can play a critical role in getting the word out about your cause. It also provides a tremendous boost to your campaigns, making it easier to reach your fundraising goals.

The following tips will show you how to attract media support and use it to your NFP’s best advantage.

Research Your Target Audience to Discover Where They Get Their News

Recruiting media takes a lot of research and preparation. Ideally, you want to try to attract coverage from those journalists, bloggers and news outlets that your existing audience is already reading and watching.

Once you know where your audience is getting their news, you can begin to target specific publications, channels and reporters. Subscribe to the publications where your audience is consuming their news to get a feel for the types of stories that they enjoy, as well as the topics specific journalists and publications prefer to cover.

You can save money by searching for free, online versions of many newspapers, magazines and periodicals. Using a media database is also another way that you can stay informed about the issues and stories that interest your audience and learn more about the writers and publishers that produce the news.

Create Compelling, Newsworthy Stories

Once you know what types of stories will interest both your audience and the media you will target, you can get to work creating stories that will resonate with your supporters. This will encourage media to begin following your work and covering your events and other significant news that impacts your NFP and its community.

When crafting your stories to release to the media, try to view your subject matter objectively, and write with a professional, unbiased viewpoint. Rather than focusing on trying to convince your audience to take a specific action, emphasise the information that you are relaying to your audience. Rather than selling, you are informing.

Include a catchy headline and use a dateline at the beginning to let the reader know the location of the event. Use the “pyramid” method of telling a story to craft your news item. This means that the most important details are placed at the beginning, in the lead paragraph of the story, while less important details are placed at the end, or left out altogether. Include a link to your NFP’s website, along with a clear image, or video if possible, that supports the information in your story.

Once you’ve created a press release, use a third-party newswire service to automatically distribute it to hundreds to thousands of news outlets in your local and regional area.

Develop Your NFP’s Spokespersons

Keep in mind that you aren’t confined to simply writing stories about your latest events and campaigns. You can also help key influencers in your organisation to develop their voice and use it to spread awareness about your cause. These influencers might be your NFP’s director, a board member, or even a volunteer that is closely involved with your organisation’s activities.

You can help them to establish their authority in a given area by allowing them to create some of the posts on your blog. Allowing the media to interview these influencers is also a great way to establish their connection to your organisation and their credibility as a spokesperson. Going forward, your in-house experts can then be called upon to publicly comment on any number of news stories that relate to your organisation, and the work that it does in your community.

Monitor Your NFP’s Reputation in the News

Not all of your media coverage will be proactive, or positive. To stay up-to-date on news items that affect your NFP and its work, take steps to monitor the news for reports involving your NFP. Use an RSS service to enter keywords that relate to your nonprofit, so that you receive alerts any time that your organisation’s name, or tagline, appear in the various news outlets. Well before you are caught unawares, create a media response plan so that everyone in your organisation knows what to say, and who to contact, should a reporter ask them for a comment on a story.

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The NFP industry requires charities and non-profits to be transparent in their actions. This transparency puts a large amount of focus on trust, confidence and the reputation of the charity as a whole. Often the donor requests and fundraising successes rest wholeheartedly on the reputation of the charity, and there is a lot of competition in the industry to garner support, especially from the larger organisations.

NFPs that tend to be successful in their charitable efforts can not only demonstrate their best practice governance but also communicate it effectively. All NFPs and even for-profit businesses need to manage their reputation on a regular basis. It is critical to the successful operation of the non-profit and to develop positive connections with stakeholders, donors, members, government bodies and the general public.

What exactly is reputation management?

Reputation management covers the building up and the monitoring of your brand through your efforts in media promotion and marketing. A health check enables you to look at your marketing efforts and responses to understand where your vulnerabilities lie and where you can further develop your promotional opportunities.

Auditing for risk is something that every business should do on a regular basis. It is better to create forward plans rather than panic when an issue occurs, and your organisation is forced into crisis mode. Draft out some scenarios and work out some helpful strategies that will enable you to be able to control the outcome more closely.

From a social media perspective, while it is easier to communicate directly with donors and supporters, it is also easier for NFPs to be targeted with negative comments, whether fair or irrational. Knowing this is half the battle.

How do people perceive your business?

How do stakeholders view your NFP? How does the general public see your business? Are you different from other charities working in a similar field? If you are not able to answer these questions, then you may be missing value opportunities for your NFP to safeguard and develop your brand. Talk to your donors and sponsor to get real insights on your efforts to help you develop more effective strategies and marketing efforts for the long-term. Your ability to not be able to effectively understand your competitors can also affect you negatively. Know where your strengths are to be able you to stand out from the crowd and gain the confidence of the general public.

How can you manage your online reputation?

Here are some tips to help you manage your online reputation.

  • Be objective when it comes to your website. Consider whether it is easy to navigate or find relevant information. Are the contact details up to date and accessible?
  • Review your social media and online strategies. Let employees and volunteers know what they can and cannot do on social media.
  • How is your organisation represented on third party websites? Do a search and see where you can improve your profiles and online representations.
  • Allow plenty of opportunities for members, interested stakeholders, volunteers and employees to give you regular feedback.
  • Set up alerts to monitor the internet for organisational content so you can keep on top of who might be saying what.

Once you understand how your NFP is seen, you can then make steps to direct the chatter. Be proactive with your efforts so you can ensure your organisation can fulfill its mission and ultimately increase support and contributions from others.

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agent-18762_640At its heart, there are certain unavoidable truths about any business or organisation. First, it is only ‘working’ if it keeps the interests of customers a priority. And second, there is always room for improvement. Even if (or perhaps especially if) you are not wondering how you could improve your customer service, there is a strong likelihood that you can, and your whole operation will run better as a result.

Take this as a reminder that without your customers, your organisation would dwindle and eventually close its doors. The upside is, each positive interaction with a customer not only makes it easy for them to return, but makes it a pleasure for them to tell their friends about you and the wonderful work you do. So, it is really important that you and your staff always keep personal frustrations when at work in a professional setting. Support customers with a smile, no matter what. Putting their interests first, and letting them know how important they are will help ensure they continue to work with you.

Online customers deserve quality service also, and there are a few ways to make sure their experiences with your organisation are as good, if not better, than if they dealt in person. A lot of customer queries and complaints can be dealt with efficiently via a comprehensive FAQ page online. Remember, however, that just because someone can navigate to a webpage does not mean they understand all technical or industrial jargon. Keep the content clear and simple, to avoid unnecessary follow up questions. Another thing to consider when delivering customer service online is that customers will generally expect fast responses. If you are using social media, the closer to instant replies, the better.

Making each customer feel important and heard, will win their loyalty. There is no better promotion for any organisation than a personal recommendation from a satisfied customer.

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