Weber Shandwick Lends Expertise to Not-for-Profits

Weber Shandwick Minneapolis hosts a pr workshop for local not-for-profits

Why Pro Bono

For the past 30 years, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis has accepted applications from non-profit organizations across the state of Minnesota seeking pro bono public relations support.

Nearly 20 years ago, the office received applications from more than 30 prospective clients and the pro bono client review team had a difficult time selecting just one organization. That year, the review team had an innovative idea: significantly increase the impact of the pro bono program by working with all of the organizations that applied! To achieve this, the office created a day-long workshop during which Weber Shandwick employees would host ALL of the applicants and provide them with the tools they needed to use PR to advance their organizations' communications objectives.

Process

"Telling Your Story" workshop is open to executives and communications directors from local not-for-profits. During the day-long workshop, facilitated by Weber Shandwick employees, local not-for-profits learn skills to address their organizations' primary communications challenges and begin drafting a communications plan.

As part of the day-long program, the non-profits participate in breakout sessions presented by experts from Weber Shandwick on key topics such as media relations, social media, key message development and talking with reporters. In addition, each non-profit receives a one-on-one consulting session with a Weber Shandwick account staff member to discuss how to best address its primary communications challenge.

Results

To date, an estimated 420 organizations have participated in and used information from Weber Shandwick to strengthen their communications initiatives.

As part of Weber Shandwick’s pro bono program, the “Telling Your Story” workshop is one of the driving factors in the office’s strong reputation in the local non-profit community. It is also one of the reasons that The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has named the firm among its “Best Places to Work” in the Twin Cities for five consecutive years.

One of the most significant unanticipated benefits of this workshop is its impact on Weber Shandwick staff who volunteer. Volunteers have expressed how inspired they are both by the work being done by the non-profit organizations and that they are able to make a difference by equipping attendees with tools and new ideas. Many Weber Shandwick Minneapolis employees have said that participating in the “Telling Your Story” workshop is one of the highlights of their professional year. Word travels – other offices around the network have adopted similar programs in their communities.

 

Weber Shandwick employee volunteers share their expertise with local not-for-profits

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