Nonprofit organizations often have the monumental task of raising awareness for a cause with a limited budget for promotion. Here’s 25 ideas for low cost or no cost ways to raise awareness.
1. Issue media releases using free online services like prweb.com and openpr.com
2. Start a blog about the cause with a free service like Blogger or WordPress.
3. Every cause should have accounts with Twitter, Propeller and Digg.
4. Post some videos on YouTube. They can be made with the webcam on your computer, online services like Animoto or programs that convert PowerPoint to video.
5. Do some comics on Bitstrips. It’s as much of a social networking site as it is a comic maker.
6. Use the tried and true methods like radio station psa and talk shows on local Tv and radio.
7. I have a former student who put together an email list of all her contacts and promotes her cause.
8. Use the same technique as Internet marketers. Get people on your mailing list by giving something away.
9. Use keyword searches to find out the information people are looking for that is related to your cause.
10.Write some articles based on those keyword searches and post them on EzineArticles.com.
11. Read the paper and send congratulatory cards or emails to people who have achieved something.
12. Keep track of the birthdays of the kids associated with your organization and send them birthday cards.
13. Do a world record setting event. This might be easier than you think and they always get media coverage.
14. Review haro.com and respond when there is a reporter looking for information related to your cause.
15. Don’t overlook the old fashioned paper flyers posted on public bulletin boards at supermarkets and libraries.
16. Use free classified ads like craigslist.com and kijiji.com.
17. There are probably local events websites in your area that you can use.
18. Seek a celebrity endorsement. It’s hit and miss but you never know.
19. Post comments on blogs.
20. Become an expert that the media will interview whenever there is a story related to your cause.
21. Get a sponsor for a prize and run an essay or poster contest.
22. Give out some type of achievement award. These also get media attention.
23. Generate some controversy that’s not too controversial.
24. Sell some SWAG on a site like cafepress.com. Bumper stickers or t-shirts can give you some mileage.
25. Tag onto a sponsor and get mentioned in their advertising or corporate newsletter.
Most of these ideas are for activities that can be done by volunteers or students. Try one every two weeks and in a year your cause will be well-known in your community.
by Ron Strand