‘Tis the season for charity PR

December 3, 2007

A few Christmas thoughts on Third Sector PR from regular guest contributor Rob Dyson.

Should we all be committed (givers)?

December is upon us, and it’s the time of year charity PR’s cautiously welcome. I say cautiously because we predictably get a flurry of journalists – who ordinarily shun our meticulously-crafted pitches – seeking those warm feel-good stories, miraculous acts of human kindness and tales of ‘triumph over tragedy*’ (*TM every tabloid in the country).

A well-resourced charity PR will pull out those case studies we’d been keeping aside, unleash the Christmas campaigns, and speak sweetly to capture the public’s sense of festive generosity….but charities are for life, not just for Christmas.

And that can be the problem. In January, when the tree’s browned needles cover the floor and most people emerge blinking, pallid, confused and sober into the new year – charity PR’s have got to keep campaigning, lobbying and largely selling ‘the concept’ over ‘the tangible’. Alas, relying on people’s resolutions to ‘do more for charity’ doesn’t fund third-sector projects forever.

But as discussed in my previous offering not-for-profit PR’s best tools are clout, a sense of the current climate and the ability to raise consciousness with a well placed editorial, corporate partnership or celeb endorsement. So enjoy the season-to-be-merry. Relish those media slots where you can exploit topical stories of excess, goodwill and traditional notions of charity to your advantage. After all, if you’re a third sector PR, who needs NY resolutions? Apart from maybe being more forgiving to those Xmas ring-round hacks…


One Response to “‘Tis the season for charity PR”

  1. Josh Hoole Says:

    Thanks for this Alex. I work as Marketing/PR bod for iT4Communities, a charity that introduces volunteer IT professionals to charities needing IT help, and we are thinking about nicely targeted NY resolution campaign to get more IT pro’s giving their time and talent…and not just for christmas!


    Josh Hoole

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