Top 10 public relations tips for charity

  • Agree your key messages. Before you start, make sure you know what you want to say, develop a clear and simple way of saying it, and then keep saying it to get your message across
  • Know your local, national and specialist media. Be prepared to let them know about developments at your charity – but only information that they might find interesting for their readers or viewers
  • Focus your communications on the outcomes achieved for your beneficiaries. This can inform your supporters and others that their support for the work of your charity really pays dividends
  • Identify spokespeople for your charity. They don’t need to know everything about the charity, but help train them to become fluent and informative about your work
  • Be prepared to comment. You are probably the experts in your field. Be prepared to share your expertise via the media, online and through social media
  • Think about radio and TV interviews. Broadcast media can play an important part in getting your message out – is someone in your charity prepared to be interviewed and if so how do they come across? Practice and training can help to get it right
  • A photo is worth a thousand words. A well-composed, high resolution photograph is worth its weight in gold. Whether for your own website or to send out with press releases, invest time (and money, if needs be) into getting good images of your charity
  • Understand the media’s timescales. The media often work on very tight deadlines. Often this means that they require information from you very quickly. Bear this in mind when sending information to the media. If they have any questions, can you respond quickly?
  • Social media is important in the 21st century. You will probably already have a website and see the benefit of keeping it updated to showcase the work of your charity. These days social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are important tools to share information with those interested in your charity’s work
  • Prepare a crisis communications plan. This might just consist of knowing how to access relevant contact details of key people within the charity. Or keeping the number of a PR agency somewhere safe