The Benefits of Pro Bono Public Relations

By Gus Nodal, Senior Account Executive
I learned about pro bono public relations some 10 years ago while chatting with a friend who was working at the STOP AIDS Project in San Francisco. He mentioned they needed to write a press announcement for a new program they were implementing. At that time, despite being a fairly inexperienced PR professional, I offered my services and wrote the press release. Soon after I realized I had just used my PR background with the social services angle to help others in the community.
The release generated some great press and, for the first time, I experienced the power of pro bono public relations. Since then, pro bono work has become a key part of my career. My work in nonprofit organizations is a link back to the communities that we live in and serve. This allows me to amplify my personal involvement and allow me to extend out into different groups of people in order to make a difference.
Nonprofits have offered me a whole new Rolodex of movers and shakers. Even for someone with a good level of expertise, pro bono work has opened doors to build upon new experiences while also providing exposure to new industries. It’s helped build organizational skills and strategic planning, and also given me the chance to work in causes related to health, the arts, politics and human rights. I’m always amazed at how much I learn when discussing business challenges with my peers.
I consider several factors before deciding where to contribute my time. First, I decide if an organization’s mission has a personal appeal by asking myself, “Who runs the organization and do they hold the values and ethics required to make it successful?” If it’s just giving money, there are lots of charities which accept that. However, when giving my time and experience, I want to ensure that my role makes an impact and influences the organization.
The majority of good workplaces encourage employees to give back, particularly in the communities where they live and work. I recently learned that when you are looking for a new job, a crate of media placements alone won’t cut it. In the competitive PR job market, managers are looking for communicators with diverse business and philanthropic experience. Pro bono PR has enriched my resume, my career story and my life, and I’m thrilled to be able to continue that work with Landis Communications.
Questions or comments for Gus? Leave a comment below or email Gus [email protected].

6 thoughts on “The Benefits of Pro Bono Public Relations

  1. Thanks for the great blog Gus. Pro bono work is a wonderful way to be able to get involved with and give back to the community, so to be able to use your working skills and experience in this way is a real bonus. Welcome to LCI!

  2. Gus, I am so impressed with your strong sense of community and giving back – something very dear to my heart as well. Since you joined the Landis team I have noticed your strong work ethic and critical thinking. I now see that these are both qualities you have intentionally nurtured. It’s an honor to have such a quality human being as part of LCI. Welcome to the team!

  3. Gus – Fantastic blog post. I am sure you are excited to work with all of our fantastic non-profit clients. Welcome to the team!

  4. Great to have you on the team! I agree with you on so many of the points you brought up in this blog. Glad to have a passionate colleague about community-oriented work as the rest of us!

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