In the midst of this season of giving and reflection, I’m reminded of the many worthwhile organizations we had the pleasure of working with and supporting over the years. At A. Bright Idea, we all enjoy working with nonprofits and seeing our work contribute to better the community and help the individuals and families these organizations serve.

A cornerstone of our core values, we believe in giving our time and talents in the form of in-kind donations and serving in leadership positions. We can tell from the excitement in an executive director’s voice or from the turnout at a fundraising event that our design and marketing services were appreciated and helped make a difference. Even while helping these organizations solicit much needed donations that keep their doors open to serve deserving members of our communities, we also see other needs.

Even though these organizations are by definition nonprofits, they operate like a business, with all the associated expenses with running a business. Administrative leadership, staff, building expenses, insurance, technology, utilities, transportation and more can provide an overhead hardship to organizations struggling to funnel as much funding as possible to supporting their mission.

While many strive to offer their time as a volunteer staff member or even make that end-of-year monetary donation incentivized by tax credit, organizations remain burdened by the costs of services to keep everything running smoothly. This season, we encourage individuals and businesses to consider how they can lessen this burden to help improve a worthwhile nonprofit’s efficiency. Can you provide IT support or perform building maintenance? Mowing grass, painting, cleaning, website maintenance, accounting, answering phones – consider any of the things that keep a business ticking and consider letting your business make a difference for a nonprofit in your community.

Here are a few of the organizations we’ve supported in Harford County, Baltimore, Sonoma County and around the country. Connect with them today!

William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund
Website
Facebook
Twitter

The Fuel Fund of Maryland
Website
Facebook
Twitter

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County
Website

The Greater Edgewood Education Foundation
Website
Facebook

Harford County Public Library Foundation
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Flickr
You Tube
Mobile app

Sonoma Valley Teen Services
Website

Semper Fi Fund
Website
Facebook
Twitter
You Tube

PR professional rated top job in 2011

abimaster | December 16, 2010
The A. Bright Idea PR process consists of research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

There are a lot of things to be thankful for during the holiday season – health, family, signs of economic recovery. However, for public relations (PR) professionals, we are just a little bit thankful to be ranked among the Top 50 Careers for 2011, according to U.S. News.

Sounds a little cheeky I know, but us PR folks are so often the butt of jokes and recipients of fun nicknames, like “spin doctors,” that we don’t often receive positive recognition – well that is to say recognition that we ourselves don’t develop collectively and release to all of our well groomed media contacts.

All kidding aside, at A. Bright Idea we take our client’s goals and objectives seriously – developing strategy with a foundation in thorough research, the identification and analysis of a target audience’s preferences, lifestyles and needs, and campaign implementation aimed to give an audience a clear understanding of the benefits in subscribing to our client’s services or expertise.

With a media landscape changing by the minute and an expectation from consumers to receive information 24-hours a day, it’s no wonder the Financial Times recently reported “A good PR consultant is worth the money.” The combination of traditional media and social media means companies’ communications efforts make or break reputations and bottom lines.

The mysterious world of PR can be a little bit ambiguous, so we thought it might be helpful to share some insight into our world and what we really do in the public relations realm.

·       Media relations – using mechanisms such as news releases and targeted pitches to garner the attention of specific media to talk about your business, event or timely information

·       Community outreach – for connecting with your target audiences on a personal level, sharing ideas and practices, engaging the audiences to take action

·       Public affairs support – communicating with the target audience about important happenings that could affect them

·       Crisis and risk management – helping you to avoid crisis or overcome a problem, maintaining the loyalty of your public(s)

·       Corporate relations and consulting – helping businesses build their message, vision and mission, while also providing support for initiatives and practices connecting with stakeholders

·       Event planning – logistical and creative planning for corporate, private or nonprofit events, including budgeting, advertising and marketing the event to the public

·       Strategy planning – developing an approach for communication needs, including social media, action plans and initiative campaigns

The Financial Times goes on to state “Impressions are important. Recruiting help to navigate the complex world of online and traditional media, and “curate” your message, is probably a worthwhile expense for both large and small businesses – as long as you find the right adviser.”

How do you start to find a good advisor? Consider hiring someone accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. Our president and founder, Anita Brightman, believes so strongly in firm strategy behind our PR practices that she earned her Accreditation in Public Relations, or APR, offering her clients recognized expertise in implementing a successful communications campaign.

While it could take many forms, traditional or social, this year, consider the importance of public relations to your bottom line and resolve to partner with a strong and trusted practitioner.