WMPRSA Half-Day Nonprofit Workshop - The ABCs of Marketing & Public Relations for Nonprofit Professionals

The West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America invites you to attend a half-day workshop tailored specifically for those who work in the nonprofit world. This low-cost workshop is packed with relevant and informative programs that will provide you with the necessary tools to enhance your communications campaigns and strategies. (Register Here) The workshop targets those who have five years or less experience in public relations and/or anyone who may be responsible for communications in a nonprofit organization.

This workshop features three one-hour sessions. Session offerings are below; see the event website for schedule and presenter information.


Media Relations Messaging Getting media coverage can be challenging, especially for nonprofit organizations. Plus, it's important to go beyond just 'getting publicity' and work to get your desired message to your publics via the news media. The key is matching organizational objectives to the needs and interests of the news media. This session will help you do that. Presenter: Timothy Penning, Ph.D., APR, Associate Director/Associate Professor, School of Communications,Grand Valley State University

Utilizing College Student Interns to Achieve Your Communications Goals College students have the time, talent and desire to gain real-world experiences through professional internships, but nonprofit organizations sometimes face barriers to utilizing student interns. This session will provide a framework to help nonprofit organizations (1) develop viable projects for student interns, (2) create a supervision model that works for the organization’s staff and the student, and (3) identify area resources that can assist organizations recruit students who have the talent to meet communications needs. The presenters will share recent success stories and will allow time for audience questions and consultation. Presenter: Michelle Burke, APR, Director of Student Life, Grand Valley State University

Strategic on a Shoestring: Plan Your PR for Pennies, Reap the Rewards PR shouldn’t be scattershot – it should be strategic – especially if you’re on a shoestring budget. In this session, presenters Susan Ledy and Tatum Rucker from the Literacy Center of West Michigan and Terri Howe and Molly Klimas of WMPRSA walk you through the strategic PR planning process, with a special focus for nonprofits. Learn the formula that works – and how to apply it and get results. Information from the Literacy Center’s “power PR planning session” and resulting strategies and tactics will be explored. You’ll learn from their success stories. Plus, you’ll learn how the Literacy Center received and benefited from WMPRSA pro bono PR counsel – and how your organization can apply to be considered for the same. Presenters: Susan Ledy, Executive Director, Literacy Center of West Michigan; Tatum Rucker, Public Relations Specialist, Literacy Center of West Michigan; Terri Howe, APR, Howe Marketing & Communications; and Molly Klimas, APR, Intent Public Relations

Communicating During a Crisis: How to Protect Your Reputation When Bad Things Happen Public trust is crucial to a nonprofit. Anything that damages an organization’s reputation can result in falling donations and loss of other vital support. Are you ready for a crisis? Do you know how to assess bad news and determine response? The best crisis communications begins before any crisis hits. The planning process forces an organization to assess its vulnerabilities and determine its weaknesses. In this session we will look at what constitutes a real crisis, determine the levels of response and examine the best methods to handle communications. There will be practical, real-world examples, along with role-playing exercises. Presenter: Steve Ruppe, Public Relations Director, Russ Reid Company

From Bland to Buzzworthy: Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy Are you frustrated watching other organizations get all the attention on the social networks, while your organization seemingly flies under the radar? It's time for the frustration to end! This presentation will teach you the necessary elements to address while creating a winning social media strategy. Learn how and when to listen to what's being said about your cause online. Learn how to identify and connect with the "influencers" in your market. Most importantly, learn how to generate massive buzz about your cause and leverage that awareness to create lasting emotional connections with your support base. Presenter: Pete Brand, Co‐Founder, Mindscape at Hanon McKendry

Partying for a Living! So you think it's cool to 'party for a living'? Attendees will learn the dos and don’ts of social and corporate event management. Hold on tight as event mogul Jessica Ann Tyson explores the necessary steps in the planning and execution process to take your event to the next level. This is an interactive class full of high energy so grab your cup of joe......and let's go! Presenter: Jessica Ann Tyson, Owner, Events by Jessica Ann

FEE: $60 Includes continental breakfast and session materials. Luncheon Series subscribers: Please note this is a special event not included in your subscription.

  • WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • WHERE: The Eberhard Center, GVSU, 301 W Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • ATTIRE: Business Attire
  • RSVP by: 5 pm, September 12

Register here.