Use Your Website Effectively: Don’t Rely on It

When dealing with your organization’s website in the grand scheme of marketing and public relations, there are two sides to fault on. Either your organization’s website is not doing all you need it to, or you are relying far too much on it to get your message out. Finding a balance is the best way for you to engage your audience and get the most value for your dollar.
Consider directing your attention to these areas:
Social Media –
Social Media is not free advertising. It is not going to change your business overnight and it is not necessarily going to expand your donor base if you don’t have a good strategy. Implementing a social media plan does not equal joining twitter and following a bunch of people.  It doesn’t matter how many “likes” you have on Facebook if you aren’t providing your fans with frequent and consistent information. Focus on content first, then outreach, and timing. It’s very important to follow statistics and know exactly who you are reaching and when.
News Releases –
All too often news releases only seem to end up on an organization’s website and not in the hands of editors and journalists. Nobody is checking your website for news. You need to have a comprehensive action plan when it comes to getting the word out, and while a website is a great place to direct people to for more information, you need to make one-on-one contact with members of the press. Make phone calls, set meetings and most importantly, follow up.
Blogging –
Does your website have a blog? What is its purpose? Are you using it solely as a way to post updates to your website without having to make major changes, or are you posting engaging articles in order to keep your donors, volunteers and constituency involved? Your blog should focus on the latter, because if you are using it for a place to post events or promotions and you don’t have a specific place on your website to find that information as well, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle. Create regular features, post consistently if not daily and drive traffic to your blog using an e-newsletter.
The real moral of this story is that you need someone to be juggling all of these facets. Your website is part of your public relations plan, but it isn’t the whole story. Traditional media still plays a very important role in bringing awareness to your cause and your website should compliment that.