3 Ways a Sound PR Strategy Can Help Win Your Organization Funding

By Marshall Zia and Demitria Castanon

In a world with a myriad of fields and professions, most, if not all, have one same disyllabic word in common: funding.

Last month, San Francisco State University’s STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program) failed to secure federal grant money given to eligible HSI’s (Hispanic Serving Institutions).


photo by Wiki user Webbi1987

Failure to attain funding is disappointing for any organization or function. However difficult the situation, a good PR strategy can facilitate and even expedite grant applications.

Here are 3 ways a sound PR strategy can help you win funding for your organization/function.

  1. Garner Awareness

One way a sound PR strategy can help you win funding is by garnering awareness. Awareness is important as it allows you to gain the attention of your target audiences and publics. This is key as it grants you visibility over your competitors. If placed in the correct communication channels, your organization’s cause/projects/etc. will drastically improve your reputation, giving you more clout.

For example, SFSU’s STEM program could pitch their research or movements towards ethnic inclusivity through specific media channels such as research journals and diversity inclined publications. This allows them to gain awareness within their publics and target audiences, and potentially gives them a leg up for their next grant application.

  1. Builds Credibility

A second way a great PR strategy can help you win funding is by building your organization’s credibility. Credibility is important as if what you have to say seems credible, people will be more responsive to you in the present AND in the future.

SFSU’s STEM program could increase their credibility to the committee handling the HSI-STEM grant by promoting their projects and causes in specifically chosen channels. If SFSU’s program seems more credible, it gives them a leg up over other applicants during the committee’s decision making.

  1. Helps Shape Brand Image

A third way great PR strategy can help you win funding is by helping you shape your brand image. Having a definite brand image allows your audience to know what you do and what you stand for. This can be important when trying to attain funding, as if the committee cannot identify what you stand for within a sea of applicants, there is a low chance that you will be recognized as a recipient for the grant.

One way to develop a consistent brand image is by making sure everything you publish, or everything published about you has a constant theme or message. This is something SFSU’s STEM program should keep in mind and try to strive for in the future.


The importance of PR in spreading hunger awareness

The Fall Food Drive focuses on one major theme and that is helping to lower the amount of hungry in San Luis Obispo County. Every year, the men’s basketball team partners with the SLO Food Bank to give the community an opportunity to give back. According to the SLO Food Bank, “over 46,000 San Luis Obispo county residents are food insecure which means 1 in 6 people face hunger.” Many people may not realize that hunger is still a relevant problem today in the United States.


ABC News recently published an article regarding a small town in Iowa that is facing a major hunger struggle. The article mentions that although national poverty rates are decreasing, that does mean that thousands of children and families are still going to bed hungry at night. Parents in Storm Lake, Iowa, struggle to feed their children and have to turn to turn to their community for help. People in the community are doing what they can to help by donating essentials such as bread and eggs. Not only is there a local charity pantry but community members are also setting up their own curbside pantries in order to help donate.

Just like Storm Lake, San Luis Obispo has opportunities for people in its community to help give back and feed the hungry. Our community can simply donate the cans in their pantry or money to the SLO Food Bank or to the cans located in Mott Gym on Cal Poly’s campus. When one person donates, this has the power to cause a chain reaction and change the lives of hundreds of people.

Cal Poly Men’s Basketball helps spread hunger awareness throughout the community by attending downtown farmer’s markets and letting people know how they can donate. Through public relations and marketing efforts, Coach Callero wants to make sure that the message is put out there and that people realize they can easily be a helping hand in this cause. Whether you’re from a small town in Iowa or beautiful San Luis Obispo, you have the power to make sure a child does not go to bed hungry.

What the Clinton email scandal can teach us about branding

If there’s anything we’ve learned about Hillary Clinton and her emails, it’s that she could possibly take better care in managing them. But besides that, what other lessons can we take from her recent email scandals?

In his article “The power of purpose: what the hacked Clinton emails tell us about branding,” author Nigel Hollis argues that the latest email Wikileaks scandal provides a valuable lesson about branding — specifically, that a brand should never be without a purpose.

Here are three key takeaways from Hollis’ article:

  1. Branding is essential for growth and profit.

Sure, this might seem obvious to most people. But at the onset of Clinton’s campaign, this wasn’t made quite so obvious to her and her team. They struggled to define Clinton’s platform throughout her run for president, which made it more difficult to squeeze by Bernie Sanders in the race and win the nomination.

DEM 2016 Debate

  1. The emails revealed Clinton’s campaign wasn’t clear on exactly why she is running for president.

That’s not great to hear from someone who’s running to become the next leader of the free world. Had her purpose been made clear in the beginning, she would have had a much easier time campaigning against Sanders in the primaries.

  1. The most successful brands in the world have a strong, established identity.

Think Apple and Amazon, and you immediately associate those brands with what they stand for. Bernie Sanders’ branding was equally as strong, as he made clear from the beginning why he was running for president and what issues he stood behind. Pitted against Sanders, the Clinton campaign realized a strong identity was essential and mobilized to establish one.