How to run NGOs communication

Before you start establishing relationships with external partners and sharing information about your activities in the online or offline space, do a decent survey of the area. If you have already done a stakeholder analysis , you know what other companies, institutions and organizations are engaged in activities and topics similar to yours. Now check how they communicate their values to the outside world.

I. Market analysis

Do simple research by answering the questions: Who do they want to reach with their messages? What channels do they use to do so? Are they doing it skillfully? Remember that the communication space needs to be tailored to your audience, be where they/they are most often. Do the messages take the form of text, graphics or video? What language are they presented in? Are the messages long, complex, formal, or rather short, dynamic, colorful? What do they look like? How often do they appear?
By checking what entities engaged in similar activities to yours are publishing on the Internet (and beyond), you can also verify what is most effective. Do tiktoks on this topic have a wide audience? Or is it better to write a blog, or give up online activities altogether in favor of holding offline meetings? Remember not to completely suggest the results of watched entities - sometimes the great success of a channel may be due not to its attractiveness, but to the strength of the brand itself, and vice versa.

II. Communication objectives

With this ton of inspiration in your head, you can move on to the important decisions. These need to be made in several areas:

Message objectives

Let's start with the most difficult question, namely: why do you want to communicate externally what you are going to publish? Think about this together with your team. Do you want to promote the events you organize? Or are you looking for donors to support you financially? Is the content you publish a value in itself? Write out your goals for making information about your organization available to the public. When you are sure of what you are looking for and what you want to achieve by making your content public, each subsequent decision will come much more smoothly.

Business objectives

Depending on what your organization does, it may also have different business objectives. As part of your external communications, you may want to establish relationships with partners who can offer value for the development of your activities: sponsors, decision-makers or influencers. If this is the case, you also need to consider tailoring your content to these audiences. Not all of your communications need to reach them - you can maintain a casual Facebook profile, while regularly publishing formal content on LinkedIn that will serve as your calling card among specific stakeholders.

Type of content

Once you know the purpose of your external communications, you can think about the type of messages you create. Will they entertain, inform, educate your audience? Consider what character your content will take, what kind of reactions it should evoke in your audience and what it should offer them.

Communication channels

Consider what communication channels will be most effective for your organization. It doesn't always necessarily have to be a classic Facebook and Instagram profile. For some activities, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, a blog, a website, regular information in the local media or participation in industry events will work better. You and your team have limited resources to begin with, so it's important to focus your efforts on those channels that have the best chance of reaching your large audience. Consider what message fits each channel and why people use the source. Where is your statistical audience most likely to look for the value your organization offers? Read more further.

III. Recipients

Speaking of your statistical audience - do you know exactly who you are targeting with your content? Very often the person of the recipient of external communications is the same person who participates in your activities, but not always. Sometimes an organization may, for example, take care of animals, so they are its beneficiaries, but target its communications to people who want to adopt them - and that will be its audience. If your audience is not the same group as your beneficiaries, you should create a persona of your audience .
In addition to describing the characteristics, needs and problems of such an audience, also consider the following:
Where does he stay most often - Both online and offline. We're talking about apps, websites, but also physical space.
What language does he/she speak -What messages will be most interesting to this person, what does he/she like to read and listen to, what cultural codes does he/she know, what is cool and what is not so cool anymore?
What media outlets/organizations does she follow - What messages are already reaching your audience and which ones seem most appealing to her/him?
What is his / her sense of aesthetics - Simply what she / he likes best. What colors, emoticons, fonts, pictures can appeal and attract attention?
What kind of relationship is he or she looking for - It's about what your audience expects from the organizations they follow. This could be a group that likes to receive short, simple messages and not feel connected to your organization, but it could also be an audience that likes frequent contact, discussions in the comments, responses to private messages. By responding correctly to this expectation, you have a chance to build a highly engaged community!

III. Channels of communication

External communication is not just online activity (but it too is super important!). The choice here is wide:

Online channels

Social media

The main channel for external communication is social media platforms. Remember that Facebook or Instagram is not just about publishing posts with a photo - social media gives you powerful opportunities to reach multiple audiences and audiences with your message and engage your community, such as:
Instagram Story - is a powerful tool for direct communication with your audience. You can ask them questions, organize quizzes, dropshots, share links, tag other users.
Facebook groups - running your own group allows you to connect with your audience, and using already existing communities can equip you with a lot of knowledge (e.g., Social Tigers), or allow you to network among people involved in your area of business.
Stitch function on TikTok - you can respond with your content to videos inducing a powerful reach on the platform, and using their interest to reach new audiences for your organization!
Paid promotion - when you want to increase the visibility of your event or published information, you can always invest a selected amount of money on sponsored content, targeted to the group you yourself indicate.


Nowadays, everyone has their own email inbox. So in external communication you can successfully use mailing. For example, if you want to regularly inform your recipients about changes taking place in your organization or the latest opportunities to get involved in your activities, a newsletter will work best.

External portals

You don't have to be limited by your own reach! In the virtual sphere, you can publish information about your organization using platforms built and run by other people. We're talking about both media portals (just send a press release to news portals in your city or neighborhood) and industry portals (when organizing events or projects, you can try to get media patronage from an industry portal or work with an influencer).

Own website

A secure solution for communication activities on the Internet is your own website. It is an independent space that you can fully adapt to your needs and type of communications.

OFFLINE channels


The analog equivalent of mailing is classic mail, that is, information about your organization and its activities sent by analog to the mailboxes of the target group. This form can work well, for example, in the case of helping seniors, but it is not free and involves acquiring the recipient's address. However, it can be a nice addition to creating the image of your organization when you send, for example, Christmas cards or personal invitations to a major event to your closest stakeholders.


Good old-fashioned networking, or establishing beneficial relationships with people who can have a positive impact on the development of your business. It's also a form of external communication that requires a well-prepared person representing the organization. When you appear in places where you expect to meet people interested in your industry, it's a good idea to prepare a message or general opportunities you want to present to them. Remember - you can only make a first impression once. One way to conduct networking is to be present at industry events.

Classic media

Standard media, i.e. press, television, radio. As part of such a communication formula, send press releases about your events to local newspapers, seek contact with editors, participate in events reported in the media. Maybe your first interview won't be given to the New York Times (who knows?), but step by step your reach can increase!

Offline events

Organized analog meetings are always the most memorable for the audience and make them feel the most connected to your organization. Regardless of the scale of the event and the number of participants and attendees, it makes sense to meet your audience face-to-face. Such contact builds trust and presents the organization as the people behind it.

Best practices

Rules of communication to follow

Regardless of which communication channels you choose, remember a few rules:

Tailor the message to the channel - Don't publish the same content on TikTok, Twitter and in a press release to your local newspaper! Tailor the language, content length, visual design and message to the channel. Even the same audience or viewer will expect a different message depending on its source.
Be consistent - This is a difficult task, but despite differentiating content by channel your beneficiaries need to understand what your organization is about. So try to maintain some common denominator in everything you publish. The font colors may be different, but the values - unchanged.
Care for contact with your audience - Engage your audience, initiate conversations, ask questions, listen, regardless of the communication channel you choose. Look for opportunities that allow you to shorten the distance between you as much as possible.
Provide your audience with value - Try to offer your audience content that will give them some value: convey an important message, teach them something, invite them to an attractive event. This greatly increases the potential of your message.
Prepare a communications strategy -This is your organization's internal arrangement that binds all employees to carry out communications and marketing activities. They may specify rules for creating graphics, using your logo, talking to your audience, responding to invitations to events, etc. It's usually very difficult to create a communications strategy at the very beginning of a business, and it can limit start-up creativity, but after a while it's worth thinking about exactly how you want to be perceived externally.

IV. Content

When creating the content of a message for a specific communication channel, you need to think like its potential recipient. You need to ensure that you fulfill the purpose of your communication, while tailoring it directly to the needs of your target audience. Remember to set the right frequency of the message, use understandable language (simple and short sentences always work!), formulate content that will not only attract, but also hold the attention of your audience, and always try to offer them some value - let them feel that this communication has provided them with something needed, positive, interesting, new.

For example:

If you intend to reach very young people on TikTok, use words they are sure to understand, make sure your video has a nice background, show the face of the speaker (this especially shortens the distance between the organization and the viewer!) and formulate sentences that will hold attention. You can also add a soundtrack that is currently popular on the platform or put your message into a well-known trend.
If you want to inform seniors living in your city about the organized festivities through the local press, write a short press release, in which you directly and clearly emphasize the values sought by this very group and all the basic information about the event. Include a photo that will evoke positive emotions in your audience.

Monitoring of effects

The external communications department is very graceful in terms of monitoring opportunities. Both the results of content published online and analog activities can be measured and compared in some way to make improvements. You can monitor online activities using statistical tools on social media, newsletter gateways or the website. Offline activities require a bit more involvement - you need to prepare evaluation surveys, collecting feedback from our participants, check how the news about the organized event published in local media translated into an increase in attendance, etc.


I. Market analysis
II. Communication objectives
Objectives of the message
Business objectives
Content type
Channels of communication
III. Recipients
III. Channels of communication
Online channels
Offline channels
IV. Content
Monitoring the effects

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