PR firm’s grants are a gift of the gab

Posted on 20 Feb 2024

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Institute of Community Directors Australia

Gather My Crew2
Gather My Crew uses mobile apps and other tech to reach out to people doing it tough.

A Brisbane public relations firm has handed $30,000 worth of free campaign work to four charities.

MediaCast’s inaugural Pro Bono for Purpose grants will provide campaigns for:

  • Gather My Crew ($10,000) – for its work in using tech (such as its app) to facilitate “support crews” helping people facing hard times from events such as cancer, accidents, illness, sudden death or disaster
  • the Emergency Medicine Foundation ($10,000) – to promote awareness of its work in funding emergency medical care research in Queensland
  • DV Safe Phone ($5,000) – which collects, refurbishes and distributes mobile phones to help survivors of domestic violence
  • Motherless Daughters Australia ($5,000) – which wants more people to know about the help it gives to women and girls when they have lost their mums.
MediaCast managing director Fran Chalmers
MediaCast managing director Fran Chalmers

Grant applicants were asked to “demonstrate the campaign or project’s positive impact on the Australian community”, with MediaCast targeting registered charities without a PR budget that would benefit from a campaign to raise awareness of their cause.

The winners are all small organisations with a handful of employees, and the campaigns are now getting underway.

MediaCast managing director Fran Chalmers said “it was incredibly difficult” for her team to pick winners from the 141 submissions, but she promised “truly excellent campaigns for them all”.

The business has developed its knowledge of the not-for-profit sector through clients such as Volunteering Australia, Orange Sky, the Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia, and Child Protection Week, among others.

Gather My Crew founder Susan Palmer said winning the grant would make a big difference to her organisation’s work!

“For so many small charities, engaging a media company is financially prohibitive, making this a truly invaluable opportunity. By assisting us to raise awareness, this collaboration brings Gather My Crew closer to our vision for Australia,” Ms Palmer said.

MediaCast’s director of clients, people and culture, Cavill Stone, said the high number of entries demonstrated the growing need for NFPs to receive PR help.

“This was the first time we’ve ever run an initiative like this and the number of submissions we received well exceeded our expectations. I think this really illustrates the number of organisations that have a powerful story to tell and know they need PR support but simply don’t have the means to bring a PR campaign to life.”

Asked what the many other NFPs in Australia could do to help their media pitches succeed, Ms Stone suggested the following.

“My best advice to NFPs looking to tell their own stories through media is to offer journalists a number of different assets to truly bring the story to life.

“Identify your strongest spokespeople in terms of case studies or experts and highlight their stories in your pitch.

“Also, ask yourself what makes your organisation newsworthy right now? Is there a timely event, trend or milestone that makes your story relevant for media to cover?”

More resources

Guidance: Five tips for getting media coverage

Book: How to stand out from the crowd

Webinar: What to do when things go south | Media crisis helpsheet

MediaCast tips: Planning the perfect media call

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