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What PR Can Communicate About Philanthropy

Giving back has been the gateway to several effective PR campaigns. Whether you are starting from scratch or seeking to grow an established gift-gifting initiative, public relations gives you the power to reach your target audience through highly credible, third-party sources.

While there are dozens of ways to kick off a successful PR campaign, many organizations still overlook the most obvious path that is fully dedicated to supporting communities: philanthropy.

Here are four ways PR can support philanthropy:

1. Provide your time

Find several hours per month where you can give your time directly to the cause (e.g., spending time at a nursing home or volunteering at a hospital), volunteering at an event or fundraiser, getting signatures from neighbors, etc.

Each organization will have different needs, so make sure that you are comfortable with their requirements.

2. Offer your staff

No matter what size your team, find one day a year to make your “philanthropy day.” (Make it a work day and build team spirit!) You can participate in a street cleaning project, refurbish low-income housing, cook and serve at a soup kitchen, etc.

3. Give tangible items

Own a printer? Offer to make t-shirts for the volunteers. Real estate agent? Donate 100 pens (with your logo) for the organization to use in their offices or at events.

4. Contribute your expertise

If you own a painting business, find a charity that builds or repairs homes for the needy. If you are a web designer, offer to build or redesign the charity’s website. Being in PR, I volunteer for several local charities and help them with exposure.

So now what?

You’ve gotten involved, are helping your local community and feeling great! Now is when you use public relations to not only let others know of your local involvement, but also help spread the word about the charity.

And remember, while this is a great way for you to expand your PR efforts, this is an even better way to improve your community and positively affect the lives of others.

I once had a client turn down a volunteer opportunity because, as he put it, “the attendees at the event aren’t our target client market.” That event is soon to be featured in one of our area’s top “luxury” magazines. Sometimes being in the business of helping people can be great for business!

Need tips for pitching the media? Get 10 do’s and don’ts of media pitching from our free tip sheet now!

This is a guest post by Tiffany Young. Tiffany is the manager of public relations for American Public University System. She has more than eight years of experience in media relations, event management, and public relations. She earned a certificate in Public Relations from the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies and received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Virginia State University. She is currently a board member of the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. You can find her on Twitter @tyoungpr.

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