June 6, 2011 | last updated March 25, 2012 10:59 am

10 Things I Know About... Nonprofit PR

David Kassel is principal of Accountable Strategies Consulting LLC in Harvard. He can be reached at dkassel@earthlink.net.

10. KNOW THE LANDSCAPE

Disseminating information is a key part of most nonprofits' missions. Understanding where your organization fits within social networks that include other nonprofits, the Legislature, and the general public is important.

9. MISSION & MESSAGE

Ask yourself whether your messages conform with your organization's relationship to government and other stakeholders. To test this, ask yourself whether your organization has a generally adversarial or partnership approach to government.

8. JUST THE FACTS

Be passionate, but avoid the tendency to overstate the facts and stay away from personal attacks in your messages.

7. STAY IMPARTIAL

Understand when and how the activities of your organization constitute lobbying. Avoid direct partisan activities such as supporting or opposing candidates for elected office.

6. MEDIA TIES

Develop a comprehensive media list with email contacts and phone numbers. Then, do adequate background research to make sure your message provides new and helpful information.

5. HEART STRINGS

Put emotional as well as factual content into your messages. One of the best sources of emotional content is the personal stories of people on whose behalf your organization advocates.

4. PROOFREAD

Don't brand your organization as amateurish by putting out press releases and other messages that are filled with typos or that don't get to the point.

3. SOCIAL SITES

Consider starting a blog, creating a Facebook page and using Twitter. Blogs, in particular, allow you to discuss issues in more depth than do press releases.

2. MULTIMEDIA

Don't just post your profile on Facebook. Add photographs and videos as well as links. And don't forget to use applications such as Facebook's Causes to encourage users to donate.

1. GET LINKED

With Twitter and Facebook you can establish relationships with others who share similar concerns. It's helpful to experiment in order to find out what works, and to be transparent and willing to share your organization's knowledge with other advocates and organizations.

David Kassel is principal of Accountable Strategies Consulting LLC in Harvard.
He can be reached at dkassel@earthlink.net.

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