Saturday, March 15, 2008

Working for Free: Pro Bono PR

A while back I read an article in PR Tactics, PRSA's monthly newspaper, about the power of pro bono public relations, and I was absolutely intrigued by the concept of volunteering to do free PR work. I had the opportunity as an assignment in one of my college classes to spend the semester volunteering for a local nonprofit. I chose to volunteer for a small, start-up aquarium in Utah, and learned first-hand how much value PR people can add to small nonprofits. They were overjoyed to have me help (only person with PR experience there), and I can honestly say that that internship was the most personally rewarding of any of the four internships I completed.

So what's the point of volunteering one's PR skills to your community or a nonprofit? I'm sure that many would answer that it's another opportunity to build your resume and enhance your PR skills, but for me it goes far beyond that. On one of the entrances to the campus of my alma mater, BYU, there is a sign that reads, "Enter to learn, go forth to serve." I've often pondered that statement, and I truly believe it is incumbent upon us all to apply our knowledge and understanding not only to our jobs, but to give back to the community and those around us.

Maybe I'm too altruistic in my thinking, but this is truly what I believe. Since I read that article I have been thinking about where to best volunteer my PR skills, and it looks like I've found the perfect opportunity with Friends of the Belle Isle Aquarium, a group of volunteers working to reopen the aquarium that the city of Detroit shut down a few years ago due to budget restraints. I look forward to taking what I learned in school and from past jobs and interships and applying it to a cause I believe in.

Do you do nonprofit work? If so, where and why?

6 comments:

Becky said...

Adam, I'm right there with you on your feelings about Pro Bono. I am currently in NYC while my husband is doing an internship. I am doing some work for the Morris-Jumel Mansion. I love it, I have such a great passion for small museums, most of whom do not have a PR person...so it is a perfect fit. I love this blog. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Hi Adam, I represent the metastatic Breast cancer nework We are a small startup non profit serving the metastaic community. AWe have over 700 members in4 years. We have held 3 major educational conferences related to metastatic breast cancer which is extremely unusual. They were very well attended. There is really no other group serving this group. However, despite recent advancments which are greatly improving our life spans and quality of lie, we are still seen as a dying population. It is a had sell to get someone to donate or giva a grant to such an organization. We don't represent the "survivior" of the disease. Is there any PR firms that you know do pro bono work and might be a good fit for us. We are almost out of money and need for our embers sake to find a way to continue.
Thanks for listening
Suazanne
MBCNET

Adam Denison said...

Suzanne,

I'm not sure if you'll see this or not, but I would look for PR agencies in your community. You can search for agencies at this link: http://www.pr.com/business-directory-search/116

Hope this helps.

Adam

Anonymous said...

Hi,


I am a 2012 Presidential Candidate. With GLOBAL ISSUES Focusing Mainly on Issues for WOMEN & Children and The World as a whole.


I NEED YOUR PR HELP!!!


Is there ANY SERVICES that you can do for me Pro Bono and then GET PAID HANDSOMELY on the Backend, like get paid a week or two after Media Attention?


If you go to www.fec.gov website, I am Listed right along with Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Ron Paul, etc.

This Will also gain you WORLDWIDE ATTENTION!!!!!!


PLEASE email back as soon as possible, thanks so much :-)

My email address is PrincessForPresident@Yahoo.Com


God Bless You,
Princess

Anonymous said...

Interesting

rusya27 said...

"Enter to learn, go forth to serve." It really makes me think. It is incumbent upon us all to apply our knowledge and understanding not only to our jobs but to give back to the community and those around us. That is why essay writing service is my favorite job.