Most institutions understand the concept of marketing – offer an attractive opportunity along with an easy way for people to respond.
We market programs, special events, activities, athletics, ticket sales, annual giving opportunities, naming opportunities, planned giving, etc.
But what comes before marketing – public relations – is at least as important as the marketing opportunity itself.
Public relations is the work that is done both on a mass scale but also, importantly, with individual influencers among your constituencies. The purpose of PR is to enhance the perception of your institution. Consider the following questions:
How do our audiences feel about our institution?
Are we viewed as an appreciating community asset?
Are our offerings viewed as being of high quality?
Are we viewed as making an importance difference?
Or, are we not perceived as well, as capable, as strong, or as healthy as we would like.
The answers to these types of questions impact tremendously the efficacy of our marketing campaigns. Creative and strategic marketing matters. But so, too, does the disposition of your constituencies.
The aroma of the meal may be enticing, but if the utensils on the table aren’t clean, you probably aren’t eating.