Marketing, Communications, & Public Relations


Stormy Trotter, PhD.
Nonprofit Consultant

Nonprofit organizations (NPO’s) are essential to our communities and strive to advocate for causes, fill existing gaps, and provide meaningful resources.  Many are successful in delivering programs and servicing needs, but are still often underrecognized and under supported. 

How does marketing, communications, and public relations play a role in helping NPO’s succeed?

Marketing is the promotional strategy used to engage an audience for a specific appeal or action.  Marketing helps publicize events, build & maintain relationships and create awareness for the organization.  The terms marketing and communications have commonly been used interchangeably but they are indeed different.  Marketing requires analysis, consistency, and creativity to create effective messaging.  While communications refer to systems, processes, and channels of disseminating messages. 

Public relations can be seen as a marriage between marketing and communications, in that it helps formulate the image, and thereby the support of the organization.  All these actions should be consistent internally and externally to maximize the benefit to the NPO.

If you feel your organization is not getting the attention it deserves, ask yourself how are you spreading your message, what are you communicating about your organization? Are you telling your story effectively? What are your methods of communication? How do you know what you need as an organization?

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