Online PR Can Expand Your Website and Email Fundraising Reach

When budgets get tight, often the first thing to go is efforts to secure publicity. That’s because publicity is a long-term strategy that builds awareness, trust , and brand recognition rather than securing short-term income. It’s a mistake to exclude long-term goodwill and reputation management even when times are hard. Here are some online PR efforts that you shouldn’t cut even when budgets get tight.

Upload a monthly press release to an area of your website marked “News” or something like that. This shows that your non-profit is alive and active in spite of tough economic times. You don’t have to have huge announcements to justify a press release that is only one page long. Did someone in your organization earn an award? Announce it! Have you added new staff? Announce it! Think about all the things – large and small – that your non-profit is up to and announce something at least once a month.

Find information sites that apply to your niche and get known for providing quality information. Submit your monthly news releases, but also provide short articles that appeal to their readers. For example, Crosswalk.com and Beliefnet.com love to get short articles (500 words or so) on religious topics. Find out who is the right person to whom who can submit your news releases and articles, and develop a cordial relationship with them through phone and email. Learn what they want and fill their need. You can also submit content to Google Knol and Squidoo.

Establish a page on Wikipedia. This online encyclopedia was launched in 2001 and has grown into one of the largest reference sites on the Web, currently attracting about 684 million visitors annually. Volunteer editors from across the globe adhere to strict writing guidelines and know that their content can be edited by anyone else who has Internet access. Most edits consist of corrections to typos, grammatical errors and factual errors. Wikipedia recommends that someone other than the organization submit articles about notable persons or organizations, so write it as factually and non-self-serving as possible, have a third party post it, and you have a good chance of getting it accepted. You might even spend a few dollars to get someone else like Pathmaker to do it on your behalf.

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