Taking Baby Steps
There are so many details that need to be addressed when forming a new organization. Not only is there paperwork by the ream (or so it seems) but there is also the major project of making sure that the word gets out to let people know that you even exist. It's great to have an organization about which you feel proud and excited, but it's equally important that others learn about you and also become excited about what you are doing. We didn't really know what we were doing but, at least, we knew what we wanted to do and we knew that we needed help. A colleague of ours called me and told me that he had seen an article about an organization, the San Antonio Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), that was offering the "Gift of Guidance" to non-profits without a public relations professional on staff or access to public relations support. We fit! We applied and, gloriously, we were accepted by PRSA of San Antonio to receive their generous "Gift of Guidance". We were one of seven non-profits (out of 19 applicants) selected for this "gift". Brenda and I were invited to a luncheon at which we would meet our "team" of incredible public relations professionals who would not only offer verbal guidance on attracting the attention of others but who also offered a "mini public relations packet", a written guide to "getting the word out". On December 1, 2011 we met for lunch at the Bright Shawl, along with the other non-profits who had been chosen, for our first real foray into public relations territory. The public relations experts with whom we met were kind, knowledgeable, and most importantly, very enthusiastic about our organization and its purposes. Their enthusiasm about the project in which we were embarking only added "fuel to our fire". About two weeks after our luncheon meeting, they sent us our Mini (although filled with great ideas) Public Relations Packet, a document that has quickly become the foundation for our growing public relations endeavors. We took a baby step!
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Mary E. Valdez is one of the co-founders of YTIA, an attorney with an interest in (hopefully) making things a little bit better.