Posted by: Nic Corpora | May 16, 2011

Diabetes Nonprofit Improves Internal Communication

Here is an example of organization improving its internal communication methods by creating media relations programs. Members of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation had experienced a disconnect between chapters and branches spread out across the country. The New York-based organization, whose 101 chapters and branches had complained for some time, says National Manager of Chapter Communications Michael Mahle, of feeling “somewhat disassociated from the national office in respect to the media relations aspects of the organization.”

Not only did local chapters feel ignored, but there was insufficient news coverage at the local level. It’s important that an organization maintains consistency in how messages are presented to the media. “It allows the organization to work as a cohesive whole,” Mahle says. “It’s important from a factual standpoint as well, especially when discussing research findings and the like.”

It became clear that many chapters didn’t have necessary materials to complete their media relations programs, mostly understaffed and underdeveloped. The communications team stepped in, not only to complete media lists for every chapter and branch across the United States, but explain how to effectively understand and use the media lists.

The improved communication structure has been largely helpful to the organization. But the bigger impact has given local chapters “the knowledge that someone at national is there for the chapters,” Mahle says. “By reaching out to our chapters, they feel more like a part of the organization, instead of this unattached entity a thousand miles away.”

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