The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

The word “publics” could be defined as a customer, potential student or community member. In short, it encompasses anyone who interacts with or is impacted by your nonprofit organization on any level.

Being a busy rabbi and educator and filling up those seats for your High Holidays Services and programming events can be a daunting, sometimes overwhelming project.

The above mentioned is all the more so true if you are new to the area/college campus.

Let’s be honest.

Getting people to fill your seats may initially appear impossible and give one a sense of wanting to “give up” even before starting. That said, this time period is crucial. After all, those who have a positive experience from your Introductory Services and classes on Rosh Hashanah will be that much more inclined to join you for various programming, Shabbatonim, and Israel trips in the coming months ahead.

Thankfully, there are PR pros who can keenly assist Jewish nonprofits. These firms know how to appear relevant and tap into those people who turn the pages of Mishpacha Magazine as well as the millennials who scroll through Instagram on a seemingly hourly basis.

The PR teams use creative storytelling and branding to portray your image and point of view to gain public exposure, and by extension, have people want to come to your High Holidays programs and/or Introductory Services.

One such firm is The Anelis Group. This relatively new marketing firm specializes in experiential marketing, social media marketing and event coordination. You can see some of their work at their website: You can also follow them on Instagram here.

You can see below how they have created custom-tailored images and Instagram videos (which must be 15-seconds or less) for Ohr Naava’s 10th Annual Avinu Malkeinu event.


13 events. 1 month. It all starts THIS SUNDAY!!! #ohrnaavaavinumalkeinu #ohrnaava

A video posted by Ohr Naava (@ohrnaavaprgirl) on

Keep in mind: there’s another way to accomplish PR goals and that involves media relations. Media relations is an aspect of public relations. The terms are not interchangeable as media relations focuses solely on the relationship between the company and/or nonprofit and the media. Media relations uses different media outlets and coverage to tell your story, rather than directly engaging with the “publics.”

The key to success in implementing a top-notch communications strategy is combining strong public relations with strong media relations. Earned media is just a piece of the puzzle that makes up a successful PR strategy. A good PR firm will help you find what your potential students and congregants are reading and will engage a reporter or blogger who will help you gain additional exposure.

We hope this post has helped you determine if you should try and keep your marketing in-house, or if during this “busy season” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, you should turn to a professional PR firm so you can focus on preparing your programs, sermons and classes.

Hatzlacha and Shana Tova!



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