5 Ways To Improve Your Non-Profit Website Performance

Managing a non-profit is very challenging. To succeed it requires dedicated staff, fund raising skill and a high level of focus on organizational detail. Having an optimized website helps alleviate some of the load.

By improving your website performance, you will attract more visitors through organic search and referrals from offsite social assets. This will help to raise awareness, increase engagement with those seeking your service(s), volunteers, and help you establish meaningful partnerships with donors and thought leaders.

How You Can Boost Your Organizations Website Performance

Here are five ways in which you can improve your non-profit website performance.

Use Social Media Platforms

To grow your organization’s audience and to let people know what you are up to on a monthly basis, it’s important to stay active on popular social media platforms. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all great platforms to connect with donors and reach more volunteers. Furthermore, these platforms are a great way to share and link back to your website’s content.

By maintaining an active blog, you can regularly share articles, photos, and other information with your online audience through social media. This shows that your organization is dynamic and up to date with the times. Not only this but it’s also an essential part of convincing future donors to partner with you and boost your cause.

To go about this properly, you will have to develop a comprehensive social media strategy. This should cater to your specific online audience. Your online strategy should tie in with your overall organizational strategy. This way, you can continue to work towards your specific goals.

When done correctly, social media can help to boost brand awareness and donations. It can also increase your overall website traffic.

Captivate Users with Powerful Imagery

By incorporating powerful imagery on your landing page and throughout your website, you can captivate users from the moment they set eyes on your website.

Compelling visuals that are not overused, serve a purpose, and convey your brand accurately can have a big impact on engagement. All non-profit websites should make use of powerful imagery.

Images enable you to show your audience how you are changing the world instead of just telling them. By strategically placing your visuals, you can effectively evoke emotion in your readers. This can compel them to become emotionally invested in your cause.

In the end, great imagery is not just pretty. It can truly serve your organization well if used effectively on your website.

Implement Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for any business.

There are many factors that affect SEO. These can include things like mobile optimization, website speed, the use of SSL certificates, and the correct use of tags. Image optimization also plays a significant role as does your website’s infrastructure.

All in all, your SEO strategy allows you to get more organic traffic to your website. This traffic builds exponentially over time as you target more and more keywords. When done correctly, it can position your website in search results and help you to reach your target audience.

Optimize Your Website With Mobile in Mind

Another important consideration to boost your non-profit website’s performance is to be sure it is mobile friendly. When it comes to website traffic, mobile users make up the majority of online traffic. In fact, about 60% of searches  are from mobile devices.

Because of this, you should ensure that your website is fully functional across browsers and devices. If your website is not optimized with mobile in mind, your visitors will have difficulty accessing and reading your content. Ìn turn, they might get frustrated and leave.

Your web pages should be adaptable to fit any screen, no matter the platform. Additionally, mobile forms and pop-ups should be scalable for mobile platforms as well.

Searchers expect websites to load fast, be responsive and easy to navigate. Your website is an extension of your business. Ensuring a great user experience will lead to engagement and conversions.

Start an Email Newsletter

Email marketing can significantly boost communication when it comes to interacting with your audience on a monthly basis. It helps to deepen donor relationships and can help you to achieve your fundraising goals.

Non-profit organizations can also take advantage of email marketing. This can help you to:

  • recruit volunteers
  • reconnect with lapsed donors
  • and communicate important organizational and industry updates.

If done in an engaging manner, email marketing can increase online traffic to your website. It can help you to shine a light on what your non-profit is up to and why people should get involved.

In a Nutshell

When it comes down to it, there are many factors for improving your website performance. From email marketing and utilizing social media to implementing SEO and captivating your audience with powerful imagery, there are several important considerations.

The important thing to remember is that all of these methods should integrate with your organization’s overall marketing strategy. They should reinforce your organizations mission and your primary cause so that people know exactly what you’re about.

Nick Luvera

Why You Need A Boutique Public Relations Agency

When building a credible brand, you will find that just having an impressive content and social media strategy won’t isn’t enough. In order to stand out, you will need experienced boutique public relations agency.

What makes us different compared to larger advertising agencies? We explore it all in this post.

What Is A Boutique PR Agency?

Boutique PR agencies are usually smaller and more flexible compared to larger agencies. The advantage is greater personal attention and ability to make adjustments on the fly when necessary. Like their larger competitors, boutique PR agencies craft strategic messaging for public consumption. There are endless executable tactics including targeting specific audiences through earned media, like broadcasting, news coverage, interviews, paid advertising and much more in an effort to shape public opinion and brand awareness.

Services That A Boutique Public Relations Agency Offers

Each boutique PR agency usually has ample experience in certain industries. This means they specialize in getting certain brands and companies noticed. The industries can range from real estate, healthcare, non-profit organizations, or construction and more.

Smaller agencies are often times better equipped compared to larger PR agencies because of their diverse experience. Additionally, they tend to offer each of their brands a more hands-on approach.

To be more specific, boutique PR agencies usually offer the following services:

1) Media Training and Representation

PR agencies are fully equipped to help identify spokespeople and train them how to give persuasive and articulate media interviews that convey key messages accurately. This is a really crucial skill to cultivate. It equips brand ambassadors with the right skills so that can take your company to the next level.

2) Content Publishing

In order to create a credible reputation for your company, you need to invest time and effort in communicating with your customers. A boutique PR agency can help with that and draft thought leadership articles and op-eds. Through these, you can convey important information to those that matter on a continual basis. Additionally, PR agencies can also help to get these articles published in relevant media outlets.

3) Community Relations

PR agencies can help to get your brand involved with the community and secure opportunities for the sponsorship or support of non-profit organizations. This helps to create more brand awareness and builds goodwill with your target audience.

4) Media Analysis

By researching what your perceptions customers or target audience might already have of your company or organization, you can better identify areas for improvement.

Boutique PR agencies can help find negative publicity or social media perceptions that are harmful to your brand. Then, they can address the issues head-on before they become a nightmare.

In short, boutique PR agencies can help businesses with:

  • Improving public opinion.
  • Guidance on the best communications avenues when it comes to reaching new clients.
  • Boost brand awareness by implementing effective communication strategies.

The Benefits Of Hiring A Boutique PR Agency

As already stated, Boutique PR agencies usually have fewer employees, but have experienced and seasoned leaders that have quite literally experienced it all. Having thought leaders with extensive experience, who are also your point of contact, has tremendous value.

Additionally, you will also get to work with professionals who truly know best. They know the best ways to boost brand awareness and manage the public perceptions of your company.

The services offered by boutique PR agencies are also more personalized. This is because you can choose an agency that specializes in your industry.

To sum it up, a smaller firm can give special focus to pinpointing specific ways to meet your goals. They won’t use the same umbrella strategy that they use for all clients. In the end, you have to ask yourself if your brand deserves lots of individualized attention or not.

Are you happy with using a communication strategy created for another company? Or would you prefer to have one specifically tailored for your business? If the latter is the case, then hiring a boutique PR agency is the right call for you.

Final Thoughts

Boutique PR agencies are the way to go if you are serious about creating a brand that will stand the test of time. Not only will you get to learn from experienced professionals, but you will also get more personalized services.

Nick Luvera

5 Reasons Why You Need A Blog For Your Company

There are millions of websites and brands out there trying to reach the same customers and clients that you are. So, what sets your website apart from the others?

If we have learned anything from 2020, it is that online marketing is more important than ever before. As people were locked in their homes, online services and other types of outreach have become critical.

In order to be successful online, businesses need to leverage every opportunity to have dialogue with customers. One essential way to do that is with a blog.

5 Advantages of Having A Blog

Blogs are an often-overlooked way of promoting your company. However, your blog posts allow you to establish an individual voice that connects to your audience. It also helps drive traffic to your website, making it an excellent way to raise your visibility overall..

  • Its  an in-depth explanation about your products or services

The best thing about blogs is that they give you a chance to describe in your own words the features and benefits of your products or services. It also positions your company leadership as thought leaders, presenting an opinion on an industry topic thus raising the level of awareness of the company itself, as well as the expertise that your company has. Afterall, your clients want to know you’re a top authority in your field.

Because people are endlessly hungry for new content and information, this method provides  a place to discuss different topics in-depth. As a result,  you are providing valuable information to your target audience.  

This helps to build trust so that you can form better relationships with your prospective customers. Ultimately, a blog can help encourage people to purchase from you or use your service.

  • It drives traffic to your website

Let’s be honest, we all want to be on the first page of Google. The question is how do we get there? It’s quite simple really: you need to make sure that you practice good Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Even though you may not update the different pages on your website often, blogs offer continuous content. By optimizing your blog with SEO best practices, you can help your posts reach the top pages in Google for relevant keywords. Thus, your website becomes easier for your clients to find. The result? You should see  more traffic.

Moreover, by adding in digestible tidbits and quotes, your blog content becomes easy for clients to consume. This makes it more shareable on social media, which helps to broaden your reach.

  • It establishes expertise and authority

By constantly answering the unasked questions of your clients and creating content that offers value to them, you become an authority in their eyes.

Customers are more likely to trust you if you’re positioned as an expert.. By creating blog posts that cover a variety of content and topics, you can do just that.  With this type of positioning, t only does the customer now trust your advice, but they are more likely to do business with you. They now see you as an trusted authority.  As a result, they will be more likely to remain in touch and consider your firm for an assignment..

  • A Blog widens your reach

Your blog is a 24/7 salesperson. Each time you write a blog it almost “compounds” over time. No matter how long ago your blog was written, it still holds the potential to attract a potential client.

Thus, the more you write, the higher the chances are that you’ll reach the right people. It also means that while you may not see immediate effects,  it will definitely be a part of the building process for your company moving forward.  

When done right, your blog is the highway to resources, products, services, contact forms, and, well just about everything on your website. You can look at your blog as being the thing that attracts your customers and directs them to what they need.

  • It builds a community

The best part of having a blog is the community that develops almost unknowingly. By facilitating an active comments section, you can engage with your customers. You are also able to provide a space where they can engage with each other.

This two-way conversation is powerful as it can develop a sense of trust between your company and your potential. clients.  Creating this open dialogue is an excellent way of building this type of interaction.

Final Thoughts

Blogs are a must for just about any website. Investing in the time to build it will lead to not only potential new clients, but a stronger reputation as well. And as always, driving traffic to your website and making you more visible in the search engines supports your overall marketing efforts. In essence, it’s a win win all the way around.

Nick Luvera

What Is Consumer Public Relations?

Are you looking to increase awareness about your consumer lifestyle business and build a larger audience? You may want to consider developing a consumer public relations program. This can help you build your reputation and grow your business.

Consumer public relations is how businesses communicate with the public, or more specifically, their target audience. Businesses use consumer public relations to build positive impressions about their brand, services, products or goods. 

Keep reading to find out the difference between consumer public relations and marketing and how to create an effective strategy.

What Is The Difference Between Public Relations And Marketing?

Public relations may sound a lot like marketing, but it is important to note the difference between the two. Consumer public relations is dedicated to building a business’ reputation and increasing brand awareness. Marketing, on the other hand, is focused on increasing a business’ revenue.

It is recommended that businesses use both consumer public relations and marketing tactics to achieve success in this day and age. This will help businesses stay consistent across the board and reach their target audience. It is crucial that businesses share similar messages across platforms, as this will make people more willing to purchase their products or services.

How Do You Create A Consumer Public Relations Strategy?

The first step to is to identify your goals. Not only will this help guide your efforts, but it will also allow you to measure the success of your efforts. Are you focused on building and maintaining a positive reputation? Would you like to improve customer loyalty? These are questions you should ask yourself before creating a list of goals.

Once the program has been launched, you can refer back to this list to make sure you are on the right track.  

After creating a list of goals, you should define your target audience. Who are you currently targeting and who would you like to join your customer base? What qualities do they possess? Once you decide who you would like to target, you will be able to craft messages that are tailored to your target audience. 

Before generating the content, you should take a look at your competition. Browse their social media channels to see what they are putting out there and whether or not their content is driving engagement. That way, you will have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Once you have identified your goals, target audience and competitors, you can start writing a list of key messages. Your key messages should be concise, simple, compelling and memorable. Then you can start thinking about which tactics you would like to employ.

What’s Next?

Here at THO, we work with a full tool chest of tactics, from digital to social media to event planning and management, to highlight your company and engage your customers now and in the long term. Feel free to contact us. We can determine which tactics would work best for you. To learn more about consumer public relations, click here.

Nick Luvera

5 Healthcare Public Relations Best Practices

Any successful healthcare public relations campaign aims to get a company’s name in front of its relevant public. This can prove challenging if the content isn’t necessarily newsworthy on its own. 

Here are five healthcare public relations best practices that will help build the foundation to achieve strategic communications results in the health tech industry. 

1. Choose the best spokesperson and don’t neglect media training

Your efforts will be most effective if they manage to cut through the clutter and connect a passionate representative with an audience who can learn from what they have to say. Get to know the key figures in the company you represent and use your instincts to identify an individual who sparks the perfect balance between knowledge and enthusiasm. 

We all know by now that reporters are not interested in monotonous statements and healthcare subject matter has the potential to come across as highly technical. With a great spokesperson, you can regularly provide good news stories that communicate a company’s key messages while providing information to an engaged audience. Invest time into preparing this spokesperson to be able to interact with the media in a way that is authentic and articulate. 

2. Pitch a story, not a product

This is the ultimate arena in which a PR practitioner’s storytelling abilities can shine. Make full use of the information available to you by leveraging patient stories and current trending topics to add emotional depth to what a client has to offer. Even if the release is intended to announce a new technology or service, public relations professionals should bring the content back to how the innovation will serve people. Because at the end of the day, that is the purpose and priority of healthcare work. 

Incorporate visuals wherever possible by providing patient interviews or high-quality assets with a release. This makes a journalist’s job easier by starting the process of illustrating and giving shape to a story. A compelling patient story will often speak louder than the most impressive statistics and present healthcare wins in a way that grabs the attention of the public. 

3. Know your goals and act accordingly

Most areas of healthcare PR incorporate the same overarching methods, including social media and media relations, but you don’t want to get caught up in a strategy that isn’t targeted toward the company’s expected outcome. For example, if a product is marketed B2B, then dedicating most of your efforts toward a public-facing social media account isn’t likely to show the desired increases in revenue because it’s not well-matched. Be sure to outline where clients hope to see themselves six to 12 months out from the start of a program to know that you are focusing in the right direction from the jump and position accordingly.

4. Stay on top of relevant awards

In the healthcare world, it carries a great deal of weight to be recognized by influential publications and associations. If a client’s product or actions qualify for an award from a notable outlet then it is well worth it to throw their name into the ring to earn acknowledgment for innovative work. This usually involves an entry fee, but the authority and trust that comes with an award-winning product or service have the potential to carry a healthcare company’s name further than organic coverage alone. This also expands the list of newsworthy angles for releases and gives a greater likelihood of recognition to your client’s name when a pitch comes across a reporter’s desk. 

Proactive PR professionals would be wise to keep an up-to-date and extensive list of relevant industry awards, including the submission windows and event information available to them in order to round out an integrated communications strategy. Set reminders to check in on this information to avoid missing deadlines and give clients plenty of time to prepare assets to include in each entry. 

5. Amplify and leverage materials across available channels

From traditional news to social media to company communications, most of us gather our daily information from an endless number of sources. It is essential for healthcare public relations professionals to repurpose materials across each of the necessary channels to have the best opportunities for exposure. Since healthcare involves a wide range of information formats, from research and data to visual patient stories, there is plenty of content to share in releases, social media, newsletters and more. The overlap is encouraged and will provide an endless number of ways to rework a story and keep audiences engaged.

When distributing press releases, avoid popular times for distribution (Mondays – Thursdays from 6 a.m.-8 a.m. EST) and increase visibility by reaching reporters when they’re looking for news. It is incredibly valuable to build relationships with your ideal media targets on social media channels as well. Find the people who are talking about the topics that matter most to your specific healthcare industry client and engage with or follow them on Twitter to easily stay up to date with what they’re thinking about and what they might want to cover next. Many reporters will even list their email in their Twitter bio to indicate that they’re open to tips.

We hope these public relations best practices will help guide your communications strategies as you navigate the world of healthcare and biotech. 

Check out our previous healthcare public relations best practices work  and contact us today to learn more about how we can help elevate your healthcare PR strategy.

Nick Luvera

Why Schools Need Public Relations

Academic institutions and schools have gone through one of the most tremendous shifts in history in 2020. Teaching has moved into another dimension with virtual teaching hampering traditional learning techniques. Is it effective? What are schools doing to make sure their ‘client’ – the students, teachers, parents – are still learning and achieving grade and age level competency?

Today, more than ever, a strong public relations strategy is the best tactic an educational institution can use in today’s world. This is true for almost every desired outcome; expanding institutional reputation, expanding student enrollment, or simply expanding your reputation in the local community, a well-defined public relations program is a powerful tool in your communications arsenal.

The NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) professional definition is:

“Educational public relations is a planned and systematic management function to help improve the programs and services of an educational organization. It relies on a comprehensive two-way communications process involving both internal and external publics, with a goal of stimulating a better understanding of the role, objectives, accomplishments and needs of the organization. Educational public relations programs assist in interpreting public attitudes, identify and help shape policies and procedures in the public interest, and carry on involvement and information activities which earn public understanding and support.”

At THO, in addition to providing strategic counsel, part of our communications goals include reputation building and thought leadership, all of which presents the institution’s stakeholders as a trusted source of information in their communities, to their students, parents and more.   

Here’s eight ways to improve your school’s public relations outreach today:

1. Crisis Communications

Whether it is a pandemic, a natural disaster, the death of a student or an act of violence, crises happen. Schools need to plan ahead for these potential crises in order to be prepared with solutions before they happen. Having a solid crisis communication plan in place before a crisis happens will keep a school looking and acting poised even in difficult times.   

2. Showcasing School Leadership 

Showcasing your leadership’s talents and accomplishments will build the status of your school. A PR plan should include crafting thought leadership articles for local and trade publications.  These pieces provide insight into the education system and highlight a faculty member, as well as provide insightful commentary.

3. Competitive Advantage

Remember to monitor your industry as well as your competitor’s media coverage. This includes social media pages as well as creating  Google alerts for key areas of interest. Then you’ll be able to continually monitor topics of key importance to determine how to position your school effectively amongst its competitors. The result? You’ll have the competitive edge in your market.

4. Remember the impact of your Social Media Presence

Studies show that 81 percent of all teens ages 12 – 17 use some form of social media and 74 percent of American adults use networking sites. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, the platforms can help you stay connected with your students and parents. Develop a social media content calendar to provide a complete schedule of posts to keep you and your team on track.  

5. Media Relations Provides Third Party Credibility

Working with the media will gain additional exposure in your immediate community and beyond. There are a variety of methods to implement this type of program. Announce test score results and new administrative changes with a press release;  event and fundraisers may offer another great story; faculty members and research papers may provide the backbone for an intense thought leaders program.

For example, here at The Hoyt Organization (THO), we support the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, a major national research institution, with its annual Casden Multifamily Forecast Conference, which unveils data and predictions based on institutional research specifically for the multi-family market. This information is distributed to the media, many of whom cover trends and predictions in the multifamily real estate market. The result?  We’ve secured both national and local media coverage for the center including Bisnow, Los Angeles Times, Commercial Observer, Spectrum News and the Los Angeles Business Journal, and many other media outlets, all of which position the Center as a well-respected hub in the industry.

6. Identify a Team of Spokespersons

These representatives can offer a wide range of opinions and commentary to the media on behalf of your institution. Remember to provide media training so they will be ready, willing, and prepared to meet with the media.

7. Website Development

Considered the digital front door to your institution, make sure your website meets the needs of the wide variety of constituents you serve. Is it easy to navigate? Does it include a newsroom to support your branding? What about your various social channels – do they all support the same message? Remember, posting new content on your website will improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Updating content is one of the best ways to rank higher in a Google organic search. Adding quality backlinks will also help search rankings. Consider creating a blog or video series if you don’t already have one. It will improve your website’s SEO  and maximize your effort.

8. Use a Wide Variety of Communications Vehicles

 In order for a school to thrive, it must connect with its stakeholders, the surrounding community as well as the national education world. This means choosing a wide variety of tactics, depending on the audience you’re targeting. It involves creating a program that touches digital marketing, e-newsletters, brochures, admission materials, earned and paid media and much more. Using an outside consultant, such as a public relations firm that understands the nuances of the educational world, may be a wise investment in launching the right type of program for your institution.

Public relations help to build a trusted reputation while strengthening the relationship within its community. With the increased competition amongst education institutions, including charter, public and private schools, investing in a strong communications program will provide the competitive edge that your institution may be looking for.

If you’re ready to move to the front of class and learn important strategies for school’s public relations – We’re here to help.

Nick Luvera

PR Tips for Tech Companies Entering The Automotive Market

By Mariusz Pleban – OneMulti 

For starters, here’s one piece of useful information: the automotive PR industry is now very similar to the technology PR industry. This is because cars have become devices and drivers have become more of a user. Sounds familiar, right?

automotive PR industry
Source: Adobe Photo Stock

I used to work for a tire company and now I work for a device producing company – yet it’s the same brand: Continental. A tire still very much comes in the same shape as it has before, but it is increasingly saturated with sensors. Tires are becoming part of the ecosystem commonly called a car or a truck.

I used to work for cars and trucks. Today, the CEO of the automotive company I work for says simply: “We are a technology company.” (It is Volkswagen by the way). And on top of that, the cars they now produce will never have to go to a gas station.

So, if you know how to communicate in the technology industry, you’ll have it easier when you start with communicating with cars or similar devices. You have an advantage. Automotives are heading more towards tech than the other way around. After all, you have a great understanding of what launching a new technology is all about. You know that it’s not just about hardware, but also about software, which is developing faster than ever before, mainly thanks to battery electric vehicles, or BEVs.

The global shift to electric cars should make you feel good about your new PR adventure. After all, electricity is a very important common denominator. Drivers, pardon me, users are noticing this, as well. They treat the electric car as just another important device. It reminds them of a smartphone because it also charges at night.

The most important piece of advice: do your own thing. Just as you did in the technology industry. There are a lot of similarities in the automotive industry now. The annual communications plan is a grid of little solar systems around countless stars entering the market. It used to be that an auto manufacturer would launch a few models during a given year. Now, the schedule of market launches is more like that known in the smartphone market. Dozens of communication opportunities, dozens of versions and types. Lite and Pro versions. There are even cameras, screens with gigantic display sizes and resolutions, hidden speakers and – system updates!

PR is traditionally understood as media relations. Technology and the automotive sector have one thing in common: without product news, your content will not be read, watched or clicked. This means that in the automotive industry, exactly as in tech, organic PR is still at work to some extent. Journalists want this content. Content that simply gets clicks. Of course, automotive editors have to make a living, so it’s not surprising that, exactly like technology editors, they will offer paid projects. OK, not everything will be for free, but you have more chances for a journalist to answer your call, write to you on Messenger, publish your news than in other sectors.

You can easily communicate with your audience through the technology media you know. Cars used to be in their own media, computers on their own. Now every technology media outlet features technologically advanced cars. So again, it’s easier – you’ll be reaching journalists you know or their close colleagues.

If you want to show a new solution in the auto industry, show it at a consumer electronics trade show, for example. Just see how many new and well-known automotive brands showed up at the virtual CES 2021. Previously, it used to be rather shocking. Not a fitting feature. Now it is one of the technologies expected to be seen by event attendees.

So do your own thing. Modern cars are cutting edge technology after all.

Nick Luvera

Six Reasons Why Sustainability Matters for all Companies – and Two Common Mistakes They Should Avoid

By Michael Diegelmann and Justus Fischer – cometis AG 

Sustainability Matters: People are aware of global challenges like climate change, pollution and social inequality, and they discuss them and ask for solutions. It is clear that companies have a major impact on social and ecological issues, so the pressure on them to operate sustainably is increasing accordingly. Not only because of overall societal sentiment, but also because many investors nowadays do not want to invest in a company that has a poor ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) performance (Note: ESG is investor speak for sustainability). This means those companies that truly care about ESG issues are seen as responsible – and consequently have a competitive advantage.

Here are six important reasons why ESG should be a fundamental part of every business strategy.

1. Comply and explain or get sued

Governments around the world have ESG topics at the top of their agendas, resulting in ever stricter regulations. Under the Biden administration the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and in New Zealand financial companies must report on climate risks already. In 2022, the EU Sustainable Taxonomy will come into effect, meaning that every company in the EU will be asked to disclose the percentage of sustainable sales according to the EU’s sustainability definition. Products can only be classified as sustainable if they make a positive contribution to one of six EU sustainability goals like climate change mitigation or supporting a circular economy,  and do not significantly harm one of the others.

2. Poor ESG performance will drain investments

Every investor is going to ask how sustainable your business is. Depending on your answer, investors will love to invest in your company – or not. The better your ESG performance is, the bigger your chance to attract and retain investments will be.  The total value of assets under management allocated to ESG-criteria has increased from 22.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2016 to more than 40 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020. Seven of the largest ESG mutual funds in the U.S. have outperformed their market benchmarks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index over the past five years. Even the corona crisis highlighted the power of ESG: sustainable investments were able to convince with above-average performance. This shows that more and more asset owners expect the implementation of ESG to be of great importance for the long-term value development of their assets.

3. You will get rated – if you want it or not

Investors want to compare the ESG performance of companies to make reasonable judgements on whether to invest in a company or not. Rating agencies promise comparability, and so receive fees from investors for giving them ESG data, often along with a particular rating, on thousands of companies. Do you know whether your company gets rated already? If not, you can be sure that your company will get rated, too – whether you want it or not. So better start giving the ESG algorithms what they crave for: well-structured, easy-to-access data. Which leads us to the next point…

4. Algorithms everywhere: watch your mouth!

Algorithms do not only search for relevant data and ESG information in your reports. They are more than just stupid crawlers and are even able to figure out whether your written and spoken phrases should be interpreted in a positive or negative manner. Many recommendations by analysts are based on such algorithmic interpretations. So be careful of what you say and even how you say things. Saying, you ‘believe in ESG’ is understood less positively than saying ‘ESG is a big win’. Actually, this sounds plausible, doesn’t it?

5. ESG is not limited to listed companies

ESG concerns literally every company, not just listed ones: Suppliers must increasingly provide information that ensures human rights are met and disclose the carbon emissions of a particular product they sell. Furthermore, many companies today have codes of conduct for suppliers – if you do not follow them, you will lose your orders. Already, there are companies that order only from sustainable suppliers – like McDonald’s for its coffee products. So, ignoring ESG can soon mean that you will lose business.

6. Your future employees care about sustainability

Awareness for ESG issues and their importance are growing. It’s not just the NGOs that are fighting for climate protection and social equality. Many people care about these topics, too – for example when making job choices. Employees complaining about pollution or the non-transparent supply chain in their company might start working for other, more ESG-responsible employers. Take this survey, for example, in which 66% of the interviewed employees say sustainability is extremely relevant for them.  

Also, your workers of the future, specifically Generation Z, are insisting on sustainability more than any generation before. This is particularly evident in the Fridays for Future demonstrations. Most of those young people will look for information about your sustainability performance before they apply for a job at your company.

Sustainability Matters

But even if companies are aware of all those things, there are two common mistakes many companies still make when taking up their ESG journey:

1. Talking but no walking

Motherhood statements, feelgood stories and positive spin will only work in the short term. But the damage to your credibility will stick for much longer. If you don’t walk the talk, the public will see through your greenwashing very quickly. You need clear goals, commitments, and actions to win people over in the long term. This also means being honest about when you fall short of your own goals. Your company can’t just sing ballads of its great achievements. It needs to also own up to its failures.

2. Being lost in translation

You can be making leaps and bounds of progress, but if your stakeholders don’t hear about your work, you’ll miss out on many of the benefits. This means reporting your sustainability work and progress effectively. And, more importantly, using the language that your audience is attuned to. Framing your work using internationally recognized frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainable Development Goals or Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, will help you tell your story in a meaningful way.

Overwhelmed by all those ESG challenges? Don’t worry: as the big ESG trend has only just begun, it’s not too late to get into the game and avoid being left behind. But what should you specifically do? Well, there’s always the option to get professional support to get the sustainability topic kick-started at your company. The PRGN has multiple experts that are happy to help you develop a sustainability strategy and tackle above challenges. Let’s get to work since sustainability matters!

This article was originally published on the Public Relations Global Network, here.

Nick Luvera

How To Prepare Your Company For A Crisis

When the fire first started, it was a small incident confined to the 27th floor of the high-rise building. By the time the fire department was finished, the entire building had been damaged, and the evening news reported that the building was closed.

What would you do if this were your business? For most businesses, how a crisis is handled may very well be the key to whether the company survives. Sound scary? It does not have to be. Chances are for any business lifecycle, management will face a crisis.

Business owners are particularly vulnerable. Caught in between bringing in new business and managing the day-to-day operations, considering the development of a crisis management plan isn’t unusually a priority – until something happens.

Just as no individual expects to have an accident, company management usually does not expect to encounter an explosion, a major fire or a bomb threat.

Unfortunately, every business during its lifetime will face a crisis. It may be a crisis related to the company’s products, or a natural disaster that is a totally random act. Thus, the question becomes not if it happens, but when.

While management certainly cannot control when a crisis happens, they can indeed plan for the unplanned. Certainly, much of this should be simply part of the day-to-day operational attitude of the company. This will assist in preventing panic when something does happen.

WHAT CAN I DO NOW?

While true crisis management takes time, for those that have not had a chance to begin the process, three basic steps can at least start management thinking along the right lines.

The objective is simple. First, begin to investigate steps that might prevent any disasters. Second, establish stand-by measures that must be activated when an emergency occurs. Third, and perhaps most important, formulate a follow-up plan to reinforce the company’s excellent reputation.

Prepare

Begin to investigate steps that will prevent disasters. The first step is relatively simple. Start with basic procedures, such as when was the last time a fire drill was held? Given that senior-level management may be out of the office, is there a staff person that is familiar with the facilities? Now would be an excellent opportunity for the entire staff to familiarize themselves with basic operational procedures.

Next, what are the most likely situations that the company will face? This may include fire, earthquake or tornadoes, equipment failure, product recalls, shootings, store closures or bankruptcies.

Then, establish the emergency response team, including a designated media spokesperson. Make sure the lines of responsibility are delineated and all necessary information is prepared in advance. Then, put the plan in writing.

Review and Respond

Once the preliminary preparations have been started, begin reviewing the procedures with the entire staff. Practice scenarios to determine whether the plan will work properly.

Institute the communications plans with specific target audiences in mind such as employees, clients and the public. Don’t forget equipment back-up for computers and any other equipment.

Finally, make sure someone has been assigned and is prepared to act as the liaison with the media during and after the incident. Depending on the company, there may be an on-site representative as well as a coordinating off-site corporate spokesperson.

Recovery

Don’t forget to include a recovery program with a pro-active approach to employee, client and public communications. Once the cleanup plans are in place, other action items may include media relations and social media campaigns.

Naturally, a proactive approach begins with developing relationships with the police department, the fire department, and the media in advance. By establishing these relationships in advance, the excellent credibility of the company will already be in place, should a crisis occur.

WHAT ABOUT THE MEDIA?

The very nature of a crisis makes dealing with the media difficult. The crisis itself may still be underway while the interviews are in progress. What should be said? Who should be the spokesperson? Should a press conference be called?

Much of the basic information for the company can be prepared in advance. These may include fact sheets, descriptions, photos, product information and facility information. Local contact sheets, which should contain home and emergency contacts for everyone on staff, should be updated and handy.

When in doubt, remember the following:

  • Tell the truth. Don’t speculate or pretend that nothing happened, when in fact something did.
  • Remember, this too shall pass. Hopefully, if the crisis is handled correctly, it won’t be long before this particular disaster will be nothing more than yesterday’s news.
  • Get it over with. Gather the facts, determine what must be said, and say it. If there are delays, determine when the information will be available and let the press know. Then, make sure the deadline is met.

At THO, we understand that your company’s reputation is the single most important ingredient to your success. Let us be your guide during the most critical times. Give us a call to see how you can add crisis communications strategies to your toolbelt. 

Nick Luvera

Ten Effective PR Strategies for Non-Profit Organizations in 2021

Nonprofit organizations play a crucial role in building healthy communities by providing helpful services. With many nonprofits supporting the most vulnerable during this pandemic, planning effective public relations and marketing strategies will get the attention of the right audience, and build donor awareness.

Given there are more than one million nonprofit organizations in the United States, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, it’s a sizeable market. These companies focus on different causes and have different goals across all industries, including housing, education, healthcare, art, technology and science.

As a result, creating the right messaging to reach the right audience is critical in setting your nonprofit apart from the rest. How can it be done effectively? Here are the top ten tips that will keep your nonprofit at the front of the line:

1. Target the right niche  

Nonprofit organizations have a mission, which identifies with a specific niche. Know what it is – and go after it. For example, The Hoyt Organization provides public relations services to a nonprofit that delivers service-enriched housing programs to residents living in affordable housing communities. We identified multifamily owners and developers as key targets for this organization. This action connected us with the right media outlets to tell the right story – to the right audience.

2. Establish a memorable online presence

Make sure your online presence is memorable. Use your media coverage to help tell your story, create a newsroom and link back to your efforts on your social media pages. Leverage your social channels – such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to share your brand stories. Don’t forget to use SEO to expand your digital presence. Remember to include links to your media coverage in your annual newsletters and encourage your employees to share this coverage on their LinkedIn pages.

3. Keep tabs on your competitors every day

Find tools to help you monitor the news of your competitors. Track their social media coverage, set up Google alerts of their opinion leaders, check their websites and identify the ways you are doing things better and differently. Remember, they could be going after the same market you are so make sure you stand out.

4. Create compelling content

People will read your message if it’s interesting, compelling and tells a great story. Use consistent messaging but go deeper by telling success stories. Use high-resolution images and video from team members to grab your audience’s attention. As a nonprofit, team up with creative photographers and videographers to step up your game and stand out. You can also use “home footage” from a cell phone or webcam to tell an organic story if you’re at a special event or are practicing social distancing.

5. Think like a “local”

Local PR and marketing outreach can be an effective way to reach your target audience and build your credibility in your own backyard. Nonprofits that do not have a national reach can always leverage the local newspapers, blogs, radio stations and television stations. If you can get enough coverage from the local and trade, you can attract national attention. 

6. Check your calendar; leverage holidays and national observances

Nonprofits often have charitable work associated with the holidays. Plan ahead and develop a few virtual events around relevant holidays and national observances. Take it a step further and create your national observance and create a campaign!

7. Join an association

Expanding your network gets easy when you join an association in your industry. Associations help you learn more about the industry while introducing you to industry professionals. This may give you an advantage over competitors that don’t have access to those same individuals. As a member of a reputable association, you build your credibility as an industry leader. Consider joining the National Council of Nonprofits, a trusted resource and proven advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. The association provides access to trustworthy information on legal, operational and capacity-building matters.

8. Showcase your leadership

Making your leadership more visible will build the credibility of your nonprofit. Consider writing thought leadership pieces for trade media outlets. Demonstrate your expertise by sharing business insights and providing research or data to back your statements. Bring your story to life with real-life examples or case studies. Then, remember to circulate your coverage to your stakeholders, including your clients, board of directors and potential donors. 

9. Highlight your partners and donors

Co-branding with various donors and/or others your organization is connected to will build your reputation. For example, if you received a generous donation from a well-known company, tell the world by pitching reporters who cover that company. Consider distributing a press release announcing the contribution.  Always remember to clear it with that company first.

10. Be PR savvy and invest in tools

There are a number of tools available that will expand your efforts with very little investment. For example, using a wire service to distribute your press release will expand your reach as well as your digital presence.  There are also platforms that can help you schedule and publish your social media content. One such tool, Hootsuite, is one of many that will help you manage all of your social content in a single calendar. All of these platforms allow you to leverage your time and efforts, and are worth exploring.

If you’re are one of the millions of nonprofit organizations that needs public relations support, please contact The Hoyt Organization at (310) 373-0103 or email helpdesk@hoytorg.com

We look forward to partnering with you.

Nick Luvera

What Is Financial Services PR and Why Is It Important?

The financial services industry covers a broad range of businesses that include insurance, money management and digital banking. Financial services public relations help build businesses’ financial reputation. For instance, financial services PR can announce your company’s performance and showcases relationships with investors. PR is essential to bring credibility to your audience and improve a brand’s reputation. The goal of public relations is to promote a positive brand image and strengthen the relationship with a brand’s audience.

Here are some ways companies can benefit from financial services PR:

Launch Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)

If you are planning to go public, this is the perfect time to take advantage of what public relations can offer. Financial PR will increase the profile of the organization during one of the most important times in your company’s history. Public relations professionals can put together a media relations strategy to make sure your IPO is shared at the right time to reach the right stakeholders. “The Wall Street Journal” and “Inc.” are prime media outlets that can help you increase your company’s visibility during this time.

Showcase Financial Performance

 Companies in the financial industry provide quarterly and annual reports on financial performance to stockholders and shareholders. Conference calls aren’t the only way to present a report. PR specialists can identify unique ways of showcasing your report and can craft messaging that presents your report in a positive light. An annual report can be the first impression that the company has to present itself to its audience.

Connect Directly to Customers on Social

PR pros can help you create and maintain social media accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Social media allows you to communicate directly to current or potential customers who may have questions about your organization. You can receive training from a PR team on how to respond to comments and direct messages on the platforms as well.

Financial advisors are encouraged to create a LinkedIn page since this platform allows you to showcase your credentials and experience in the industry. PR professionals can also create social media calendars so that your social media platforms stay active with content that is both engaging and relevant to your followers.

Improve Your SEO

In order to be ranked high in online and Google search results, you must improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Public relations professionals can design SEO strategies to help your financial services company increase your website’s views to drive additional traffic to your site. SEO will help you stand out from your competition.

Enhance Your Web Design & Copy

 Having an outstanding and functional website is crucial in today’s digital world. Users must be able to easily navigate your website. Your website should also clearly communicate what you do and who you do it for. Also, the layout of your pricing should be easy to understand.

Updating stock images, making it mobile-friendly and deleting unclear terminology can all help you improve your site. With the help of a PR firm, your website will grab the reader’s attention to support new and current clients. Your website should be a prime resource for the individuals you serve.

Leverage Marketing Techniques  

Email marketing is a great way to reach your target audience. Consider hiring a PR firm to develop an annual newsletter that showcases your company’s achievements. Hardcopy brochures are another marketing tool to get information about your company into the hands of potential customers. PR can help you identify which marketing strategies work best to reach your target audience.

Develop Key Messaging

All businesses, including those in the financial services industry, should establish key messages that explain their brand. The messages can be one or two sentences that capture the essence of your company and it should tell a story. Consider keeping a content calendar so that it is easy to control how you present your content.

Offer Thought Leadership Commentary

Financial services companies can benefit from positioning top executives as thought leaders. With a fantastic media relations strategy, your thought leader can be used as an expert source for a variety of business and financial trade publications. And local newspapers and broadcast stations can help you reach individuals who live in the area you serve.

Blogs are a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader. PR professionals can help you identify blog topics that relate to your industry. Posting content frequently on your company’s website can also improve your website’s SEO.

Podcasts are also an active way to showcase your company’s thought leaders. With podcasts, current and potential customers can get to know you and your expertise. Use social media to promote your podcast and gain new listeners.

Feel free to contact The Hoyt Organization today to receive financial services PR support for your company.

 

 

 

Nick Luvera

PR and Marketing Strategies for Luxury Real Estate Brands

Luxury real estate brands are all about creating an impression of exclusivity – both in their clientele and the type of properties they represent. With the luxury housing market thriving, developers and contractors need to take advantage of real estate public relations and marketing strategies to get their prospective buyers and sellers interested in their designs.

Marketing luxury properties requires extra effort and having a solid PR team promoting you to your target clientele will help you stand out from the rest. According to American author and former dot com business executive Seth Godin, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

Fundamental public relations and marketing strategies that will enhance both your public image and your marketing dollars reach include:

Identify Your Target Market

This is the number one strategy that you can use to become successful. Begin by identifying your niche market and become an expert in it. Knowing what drives your target markets decisions and where they are headed in the short and long term is imperative to developing an effective PR and marketing strategies. Knowing all you can about what is happening in the areas that your target market populates will allow you to adapt your brand strategies quickly and accordingly.

Over time, your target market may experience varying degrees of shifts in who they comprise. For example, as baby boomers were known for building large, expensive homes, millennials are not interested in buying the large elaborate houses built by them.

Establishing an Online Presence

 Print publications aren’t as relevant as they once were. Although local newspapers are still being read, many people now go online for information from these same sources. With technology ever-changing, you must establish a social media presence. This will include creating a website and leveraging social media channels in your marketing. A key benefit of utilizing social media platforms to market your real estate brand is that they are inexpensive. On top of their cost advantage, they allow you the potential to reach an enormous number of prospects.  Your online presence can also include digital news outlets and podcasts.

Staying on Message

Keeping a content calendar is one of the best ways to avoid inconsistent branding and gives you full control over how you’re presenting your content. When you have content planned out ahead of time, it’s easy to keep your messaging, look and feel in perfect alignment. Create one or two sentences that best describe your luxury real estate brand. Short key messages work well on the internet and social media. The messages should convey your values while telling a story. Once you have identified your message, use it as part of your branding and consider giving it a unique hashtag.

Hosting Virtual Experiences

In this time of COVID, virtual experiences have become the norm for inviting your audience to engage with your brand. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors – 44% of clients search for properties on the internet first. Virtual guided visits of properties capturing 360-degree video allows your brand to bring the property to clients while in the safety of their own homes. Key designers, architects, developers and contractors can host Q&A sessions online engaging your followers while answering any questions relating to the thought process and sale of high-end real estate. This allows a brand the opportunity to provide value to both its past and its potential future clients.

Neglecting your PR strategy can cost you in lost luxury real estate sales. If you’re struggling with real estate branding, The Hoyt Organization can help.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your organization by developing a strategic communications plan that supports your unique goals.

Nick Luvera

How Can We Help?

Make us your first call if you’re launching a new product or service, re-branding or encounter a need for media relations or crisis communications. We’re here for you:

  • Targeted PR
  • Strategic Communications
  • Social & Digital Media Strategies
  • Crisis Communications
  • Marketing & Design