New Tool for Grantees: PR Consultant Primer

Strategic communications play a paramount role in shaping public opinion and attaining policy and organizing goals. At Public Interest Projects (PIP), and at PIP’s Four Freedoms Fund – which helps build the field for immigrant rights and integration — we see a greater need for resources and expert talent to help advocates tell their story to the media and to key constituents.

Any advocacy organization playing a local or national leadership role will have to assess its capacity for engaging the debate. At that time, serious consideration may be given to bringing in extra firepower. A new resource, ””Message Delivered: A Guide to Selecting and Working with PR Firms and Communications Consultants,” arms grantees with the tips, tactics and know-how that will enable them to get the most out of their use of project-related specialists and communications professionals.

Although most of the case studies are from the immigrant rights field, the lessons learned and advice offered transcend issues. Whether it’s rebranding an organization, launching a web-based media campaign or rolling out a traditional public relations effort, social justice clients can learn a lot about what makes an effective partnership between them and their consultant.

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New Alliance Building Report for Funders

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PIP Releases Connecting at the Crossroads: Alliance Building and Social Change in Tough Times

A new report on strategic alliance building in the current political climate has been published by Public Interest Projects (PIP) in partnership with the University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE).

Connecting at the Crossroads: Alliance Building and Social Change in Tough Times, presents a framework for defining and understanding the forms and paths that alliances take, the key roles they play in building a social movement – connecting across people, issues, and skills; cementing those connections for the long term; and scaling up power and impact – and opportunities for strategic investment in building alliance capacity in this political moment.

The goal of the report is to help funders better understand what alliances look like, what they do, and how to support them.

“Multi-ethnic, multi-issue alliances are crucial in the long-term fight for a more equitable future,” says report co-author Manuel Pastor.  “We need social movements that are deeply rooted, deeply intersectional, and deeply effective.”

The report features a first-of-its kind scan of alliance-building efforts across the country. The scan prioritized independent, grassroots alliances with a strong organizing component and an authentic community base.   “Alliances” in the report are defined to be more than short-term, tactical coalitions.  They are sustained groupings that develop a frame or a narrative based on shared values, maintain a link with a real and broad base in the community, and build for a long-term transformation in systems of power.

“Three years ago, PIP made a commitment to support alliance building in the social justice field because we understood that alliances that span ethnicities, issues, and geographies are a critical strategy in the effort to building a movement for change,” says Berta Colon, PIP President and director of PIP’s Alliance Building project.  “Achieving change is beyond the ability of any one organization.   As our problems require systemic solutions, we have to scale up our victories from the neighborhood to the nation.”

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You can read more about the report at the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC.