By Jessica Fagundes
If you have ever worked for a small business or non-profit, your job probably consists of wearing multiple hats.
So how do you get through the never-ending checklist and still manage to communicate strategically? The reality is there isn’t a plan to solve it all. Every small business, non-profit and one woman/man shop operates differently, faces different challenges and needs different solutions.
That being said, there is still hope even if you can’t solve all the issues at once. My advice: go back to the basics.
Write a plan
I’m not talking about a beautifully-crafted, PRSA-approved, RPIE (research, planning, implementation and evaluation) strategic plan (very few people have time for that).
What I am referring to is a one-page document that holds your business/non-profit’s key messages, goals and high-level strategies. If you already know this content by heart, it will be that much quicker to write it down. Once the plan is on paper, it will allow you to gut-check the work you do making sure it’s reaching your goal and that your key messages for a project align with the key messages of your organization.
Have more time to write a second plan or a third? Try jotting the strategies, objectives and tactics for your more routine events and programs so that they are easier to implement and measure when the next year comes around.
Ask for help
When you’re implementing a lot of the communications work yourself, it might feel like you are in a bubble. And that bubble can prevent you from collaborating and more importantly learning new ways to solve the communications problems you face.
Take the first step; ask for advice from others working in the non-profit or small business realm. That collaboration might just help you to figure out the magical formula to running communications, membership, outreach and all your other programs successfully as a one-person team.
And don’t forget about that group of professionals that might not work under the same business model as you. Everyone (those in government, private and agency communications included) wears quite a few hats. Even if those people that are doing a job with a larger budget or more support staff, they still have insightful, low-cost tricks up their sleeves.
Learn for free from some of these people and meet others from the non-profit and solopreneur community this August at the third annual PRSA – Sierra Nevada PR to Go event. Held on August 11, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the downtown Washoe County Library (301 S. Center Street, Reno), PR to Go is a speed-dating style free workshop where attendees will get the tips and tools they need to develop successful strategic communications plans.
Jessica Fagundes is the vice president of community relations for PRSA – Sierra Nevada Chapter and a public information officer at the Nevada Department of Agriculture. As a former non-profit communicator, she too found a knack for wearing multiple hats.