Branding Your Nonprofit

July 13, 2018
Hosted by Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

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Episode Description

In the world of nonprofits, there are similarities to the marketing and branding efforts of their commercial counterparts. Similar, but not exact. In this week’s episode of The Brand Ambassadors, Merritt and Gary welcome public relations and branding expert, Jack Chirrick, to investigate the methodologies of branding and marketing for nonprofit entities. Using his extensive background in public relations, community outreach, and media relations, Jack explains how the concepts of marketing and branding tend to get mixed up and misused … especially when it comes to nonprofits. The panel talks about how an organization's focus should be on how marketing serves as a tactical element of the larger branding strategy. Jack also covers how nonprofits must have a clear vision, a solid personality, know who their audiences are, have measurable objectives and goals, and have a well-defined understanding of the effective and consistent use of the brand.

The Brand Ambassadors

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PR and communication have bad raps as being frivolous ways for businesses to burn overhead dollars. The Brand Ambassadors will show listeners the best way to incorporate PR into their operations, whether a startup or a Fortune 500 firm.

Host Merritt Hamilton Allen is an economist by training and a PR executive by accident. She will give listeners expert advice on focusing their PR energy and money. She will be joined by co-host Gary Potterfield, who is an expert in integrating business goals into compelling creative campaigns.

Every firm has a compelling narrative that sets them apart from the crowd. Everyone, whether an intern or the CEO, can advance their career and their business by blending their own background into their firm’s narrative through strategic storytelling.

Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

Merritt Hamilton Allen believes that every employee in every business can help promote that business. Merritt has leveraged unique stories and perspectives to persuade and inform those around her. She turned this personal brand into the company Vox Optima in 2005, and has since been awarded over $25 million in PR contracts. Vox Optima’s public relations clients include multi-billion-dollar organizations, start-ups, and everyone in between.

Merritt grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, where she got her first job in radio at age 13. She attended the University of Notre Dame on NROTC and National Merit scholarships. After graduation she served as a Navy public affairs officer for eight years, and led the Navy’s communication strategy for environmental, personnel, medical, and acquisition issues. Merritt is a disabled veteran.

Vox Optima closed its first year with a $1 million task order from the U.S. Navy. Vox Optima currently has 15 employees, offices in Albuquerque and the DC Metro area and its client roster includes NATO, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, BAE Systems, the Census Bureau and several national trade associations

Merritt was honored as a Woman of Influence by NM Business Weekly in 2012. She was named the top-performing media and marketing CEO in New Mexico in 2013 by Albuquerque Business First. Vox Optima has been listed in the top five PR firms by revenue in the state for the last four years.

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