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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Every Non-profit Organization has a Story: Equip Yourself to Tell the Tale

It is no surprise that non-profit organizations face communication challenges. Although they have inspiring stories to tell, many are restrained by budget, resources or experience. Public relations agency Weber Shandwick is helping equip local non-profits with the communications skills they need to make their stories heard.
On February 2, about 50 local non-profit organizations will tackle their communications challenges at the 21st Annual Telling Your Story Workshop. Non-profit organizations will engage in a free, interactive public relations training session to learn what it takes to tell their stories in a way that engages their audiences. They also have the opportunity to collect advice from Star Tribune metro columnist Gail Rosenblum, a panel of expert communicators from various Minnesota non-profits and more than 60 Weber Shandwick public relations professionals and University of St. Thomas public relations students.
Participants who attend the Telling Your Story Workshop will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on the following topics:
Working with the Media: In the 24/7 news cycle, it takes more than a good idea to get your story noticed. Non-profit organizations should learn the ins and outs of working with the media. Understand how to generate story ideas, build relationships with the local media and follow through to get the coverage you want for your non-profit.

Demystifying the Digital Content Marketplace: It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the myriad options available for syndicating your organization’s message across the Web: from Facebook to Twitter to niche social networks and online news outlets, the landscape is vast and complicated. Our framework is a practical approach to syndicating your non-profit’s message.

Crafting Key Messages that Connect: The heart of your preparation for any speaking opportunity, interview or communications outreach (spoken or written) is the development of solid key messages that are relevant and resonate with multiple audiences. It can take a lot of work to refine your organization's value proposition to three core points.

Presenting and Conducting Effective Interviews: Know how to effectively communicate your organization's messages whether you're presenting to a standing-room-only crowd or conducting a one-on-one interview with a reporter. For both opportunities, the basic rules of engagement are pretty similar—know your audience, develop relevant key messages, emphasize your delivery and practice.

Creating an Impactful Video for your Non-Profit: If a picture tells a thousand words, a video that showcases the great work of your organization tells a million. With careful execution, a video can show the human side of your work and will move, motivate and empower key constituents.

Keeping Up with Social Media: It seems there isn’t a week that goes by without a change to one of the social mainstays – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – or a media declaration of the next new “Facebook-killing” app or network. Keep up with recent changes to the “big” social networks and stay attune to emerging platforms.

Getting Started with Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Can your advocates, volunteers and donors find your website? Even if your site is well-optimized for search engines like Google and Bing, there are still tremendous benefits to using paid search services such as Google AdWords to get in front of your target audience.

Writing for the Web: Digital content is forcing us to evolve our writing in order to meet the needs of an audience whose attention span is measured in milliseconds. It is important to know how to write effectively for the Web and know the differences between print and online writing.
It’s not too late to register your non-profit organization for the Telling Your Story Workshop. Space is limited, so register today. More details and registration information can be found at