There are many reasons why you may wish to announce a new grant or successfully completed project through the media:
• to help leverage additional support from donors or government
• to recruit volunteers
• to announce a new service, discovery, research-finding or other innovation
• a 'reason to talk' and raise your organisation’s profile/build credibility.
To support grantees who wish to publicise their grant, we have compiled a list of useful communications tools which may assist grantees to tell their stories and share their news.
We are happy to provide project-specific quotes and comments for media releases, or a put forward a spokesperson for interview. Please contact our Communications team on 03 9650 3188.
For logos and guidelines for acknowledging the Foundation, please see the Acknowledging your Grant page.
If you post a message about your grant on Facebook or Twitter, please tag us so we can respond and share it among our networks to help spread the word. You can tag our Facebook page or use our Twitter handle is @IanPotterFdn. We are not on Instagram but if you share your Instagram posts via a Facebook page then please tag us using our Facebook tag.@ianpotterfoundation.
Communication tips, ideas and resources
Over the course of your grant, you may develop news and information about your work that is worth sharing more broadly. We encourage communication activity that helps improve the outcome and effectiveness of your project and the dissemination of information to others who may also benefit.
Below are a few hints, ideas and resources that may be useful.
Strategic communications can greatly enhance the impact of your project. You may like to look at the free, online tool called Smart Chart, developed by US communications firm, Spitfire Strategies. Smart Chart can serve as a guide to designing effective communications strategies. This tool helps non-profits think through audiences, messages, and communications activities for each of their objectives.
Building Communications Skills
If your organisation lacks staff with specific skills or a background in Communications, you may find Lumin a valuable resource. Lumin is now a free online learning platform designed to build the marketing, fundraising, social media and communications skills of the community and social change sectors in Australia.
Lumin provides explicit video tutorials on key communications activities that support fundraising, marketing, advocacy, media engagement and social media management. Tutorials range from Setting up a Facebook page to How to write a media release to Unlocking sponsorship opportunities. Tutorials are presented by experts in their fields and can also include templates and other resources.
Lumin was created by Think HQ, a full-service communications agency specialising in the NFP sector and based in Melbourne.
Similarly, ourcommunity.com.au has a marketing and communications resources hub for not-for-profits which lists a wide range of marketing tools, information sheets and other useful guides.
Dealing with media
For a simple ‘how-to’ guide about getting your news in the media try the ideas outlined here: 10 Essential PR Tips for Startups.
For researchers and academics, The Conversation’s Pitching and Writing Masterclass is designed to assist in pitching and writing stories to share their research with non-academic audiences - including the media, industry, politicians and the public. The masterclass includes strategic advice from experienced editors; professional and peer feedback on your work; and a checklist to follow before starting a new pitch for a media or industry publisher.
Science Media Savvy is also a useful guide on how to deal with the media including handling media interviews on tv, radio or in print; handling unexpected media attention; and how to engage via social media at conferences and other times.
For PR training, tips, and other resources tailored to the not-for-profit sector, Hootville Communications offers a regular e-newsletter and has plenty of ideas on their website or take a look at CharityComms, a UK website, that has lots of communications advice for charities.
Some great tips for PR on a shoestring are also provided in this article, Ten Top Tips To Do Lots With Little by Dr Wendy Scaife from the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub has published Best practice data visualisation: guidelines and case study. This short publication provides best practice guidelines on how to visually present complex data to non-scientific audiences. While this guide focuses on presenting data for the purpose of communicating key concepts around climate change, it covers important aspects of design – message, layout, language, use of colour – applicable in any communications using data visualisation.
If you need access to software, it's worth seeing what's available via Connecting Up which aims to assist the not-for-profit sector with accessing the right technology for the task. They can provide a range of digital products at special rates for not-for-profits, computer hardware and also provide some training.