How PR Benefits Unsung Heroes

Small businesses and nonprofit organizations need public relations more than celebrities.
Think PR is for famous people? Think again.

I was chatting with some friends of a friend over lunch recently. They asked what I do for a living. I shared that I

have my own public relations and marketing company.

“Oooh, how many famous people do you work with?” The woman asked.

I was dumbfounded for a moment. It was the first time anyone I had spoken to had equated PR with only being for famous people.

Then I told stories of the unsung heroes – mostly nonprofit organizations – that I have been lucky enough to work for and support the last three years. There’s Camp Rainbow Inc., the summer camp that provides a week-long camping experience to underprivileged children in Montgomery County. There’s the Edward Taylor Coombs Foundation, which fundraises to offer scholarships to graduating high school seniors and educates young people about making responsible decisions. There’s the Bucks County Wine Trail, which supports the local tourism industry and, in doing so, eight family-owned wineries.

The Bucks County Wine Trail is a nonprofit organization supporting tourism in the greater Philadelphia area and helping eight local wineries.
Joe Maxian of Sand Castle Winery, who serves as vice president of the Bucks County Wine Trail, checks the budding vines in his vineyard. PR has helped the wine trail build greater awareness of the local wineries.

There are so many stories I could tell.

The bottom line is everyone needs public relations.

The difference between the Kim Kardashians of the world and the clients I represent is that one is already a household name and the others are trying to become one, at least in the context of their local communities.

How can this goal be achieved?

There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to crafting a PR campaign. It depends on the individual needs of the small business or nonprofit organization.

However, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Have a plan

Before launching your organization’s public relations efforts, determine what it is you hope to achieve. Is your goal to create better brand awareness? Are you hoping to attract new donors or customers? Outlining goals will help shape your strategy.

  1. Tell a story

I know that fundraising is integral to nonprofit work and volunteering. But, your organization’s gala is not new or noteworthy. Instead, look for the interesting and unusual and use it in your messaging. Reporters are always on the hunt for compelling stories to tell. Use your press release to whet their appetite.

  1. Become an expert

Sure, having the press write a story about you gives you and your organization credibility. But, let’s face it, that’s not going to happen every day. A good way to keep exposure coming is to blog about topics relevant to your audience. Doing a bit of research on your ideal customer, volunteer or donor base will help you know what’s most important to them.

Now that you know why public relations is important to more than just famous people, how do you plan to make your business or organization into a household name?

Theresa Katalinas worked as multimedia reporter and editor for more than a decade before starting her public relations company in 2014. Much of her nonprofit, small business and municipal government clients’ continued success is due to her knowledge of the media business. For help getting your business or organization the coverage it deserves, email Theresa at or call 215-519-8833.


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