Getting media coverage for your church, mid council, or church-related organization should be the top priority in your communications plan.
“There is no medium—not the Journal of the American Medical Association, not the editorial pages of theNew York Times, not the columns of Catholic Digest—that is off limits for the publicist,” says public relations executive Richard Weiner. “Neophyte publicists may think that there are some areas where media people—namely, columnists, editorial page writers, and radio and television commentators—do not rely on public relations assistance, or that they resent suggestions. That is absolutely not true.”
When you have a story to tell, think Presbyterian media first: Presbyterian News Service, Presbyterians Today, and synod and presbytery publications. Also be sure to cultivate relationships with local media.
What’s newsworthy? Although nearly anything the church does will be of interest to someone in the community, we suggest you use these guidelines from Raleigh Mayer, principal of Raleigh Mayer Consulting:
SEVEN PERFECT PEGS . . . on which to hang a news story
- IMPACT—Does your event involve a substantial number of people or a large geographic area?
- ODDITY—Does your event have a strange gimmick or unusual theme or angle?
- RELEVANCE—Can you relate your event to a current newsworthy issue or topic?
- “CALENDURABILITY”—Will your event incorporate a holiday or seasonal occasion or tradition?
- CELEBRITY—Can you engage a high-profile person to participate in your event or to endorse it?
- HUMAN INTEREST—Will you be able to identify “tearjerkers and mood perkers” in your event?
- CONTROVERSY—Are there any sensitive issues that can generate publicity? (Be careful with this one.)
Presbyterians are doing extraordinary things, but too many people don’t know the good news. So go and tell your story! You may also send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org