One thing I have realized over the years is that seasoned PR pros are prolific idea people. Lots of creativity, with a persistent “can do” attitude. They know what interests and motivates a given audience, and what channels to use to get to them.
This was evident at an exhilarating one-day event to help out local nonprofits in the L.A. area last Saturday, called Quality Time with PR Minds, sponsored by PRSA-LA, Kaiser Permanente, RAND Corporation, Allison & Partners, PainePR and others. Teams of PR volunteers provided free brainstorming for nonprofits that have limited funds and resources for retaining professional PR counsel. Speed-date consultation, if you will.
The mix at this event included folks that could add a good dose of marketing communication savvy, making each group of 3 or 4 volunteer consultants a potent little brainstorming forum. The non-profit beneficiaries kept their pens scribbling, their heads nodding, their responses juiced. They were smiling.
My team sessions were for Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, and L.A. Cada (Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse) and they were revved up, with ideas ranging from maximizing the awareness-building effects of a 40th anniversary event to viral video strategies featuring personal benefit-success stories. Lots of practical thoughts about efficiency and reach, also.
Someone working with or for a nonprofit who is very close to a given equation for too long needs fresh perspectives. The nonprofit representatives not only got ideas they hadn’t thought of, they got obstacle-dodging strategies for many of the avenues they had previously explored and dismissed.
It feels good, no, feels great, doing this. My hats off to the insightful colleagues that I met, or reconnected with, during this event.