The Power of Not-For-Profit PR by Olivia Schlesinger


As the summer approaches, people are constantly asking your plans for it. Have you applied for any internships? Have you received any offers? Are you going to take classes? How are you going to start your career? This continuous flow of questions got me thinking, and inevitably questioning my entire life in regards to my career plans.

So, I took a step back and reflected on my original reason for choosing to pursue public relations. Here’s what I racked my brain to find…

I was always attracted to the flexibility and diversity of the field. There are so many different directions in which you can go when practicing PR, which is the beauty of it. Personally, I am most interested in the non-for-profit sector, which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to study PR in school.

I became very involved in my community during high school and have wanted to find a way to incorporate my level of involvement into my future career. Non-for-profit PR combines my desire to help the greater good with my passion for communicating with the public. I feel as though a job in this division would be extremely rewarding as my efforts would not only help the company for which I work, but also the group for which I raise awareness.

The general goal associated with this sector of PR is to raise visibility for a given group and allow it to succeed in its mission. This lends itself to a specific tactic when practicing PR. It is extremely beneficial for a non-for-profit agency to rely on its mission-driven story to appeal to the public. Focusing on the compelling and good-natured background of a non-for-profit will relay transparency and honesty to a company’s audience. A meaningful background allows a company to differentiate itself from the rest and truly find an audience with which it identifies.

Networking is also extremely valuable when working in this sector. Knowing people and knowing the kinds of causes these people would support is key to finding ways to promote your cause. Once you have a good idea of your audience through networking, you can better assess the most effective ways to attract them to your cause.

There are so many diverse areas of public relations that a practitioner can choose from and non-for-profit is just one small section of them. I would be humbled to work in this sector, but who knows where I will end up. I just hope that I can continue to establish a relationship with the community in which I reside because I think this would add another layer onto my already intriguing field of work.

Now, after my small realization, I confidently tell people who ask about my summer plans that I don’t know exactly where I will end up or what I will do to get there, but I have a good idea of what I eventually want to get out of my work, not only professionally, but also personally.

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