6 Critical Elements to Make Your Next Church News Story More “Spreadable”
My belief is that the reason that the press aren’t covering your church events is because you’re not making it easy enough for them to cover it. You have a great story to tell . . . people involved in making a positive change in the community . . . of course the press wants to cover that!
They just need you to make it easy to tell the story.
Next time you write a press release for a killer event at your church . . . make sure to include these six critical elements to get it noticed and used by media outlets:
- Press Release in Multiple Formats.
- Give the release out in a few different file formats to make it easy for them to pick it up in the format they prefer. PDFs for emailing around . . . TXT for copying and pasting into an email or word processor . . . etc.
- They’ve got questions . . . you’ve got FAQs!
- Take some time to think through the questions that media are going to ask when they see your press release but want to go a little deeper. Provide 3-4 or those questions with answers already written up.
- Put the support media cookies on the bottom shelf.
- Most media will want to “show and not just tell” the story. Don’t make them work for support photos, videos or event audio clips. Make all this media high quality that they could print or pull it into an editor right away.
- Past selected media coverage.
- Who else has been covering your church? They’re probably a little bit worried about being the first to cover this “church thing”. Showing that other media outlets have covered other stories from your church in the past will put the writer or producer at ease about covering you.
- Make your “About Us” Sing!
- Spent some time crafting a compelling 200 word “About Us” statement. It needs to capture the spirit and energy of your church. These statements are designed to give the media a quick snapshot of who you are . . . they are looking for mental categories to put you in. Choose that category wisely!
- Ensure they can get in contact with you easily.
- I strongly suggest having two contacts on every release. So if you are too busy answering calls from another another media outlet they can easily call someone else. Don’t make the Senior Pastor of your church the press contact . . . but another person who can help prep that senior leader for the calls as they come in. The press contact is simply the “customer service agent” to the media . . . our job is to make it easy for them to cover the story.
- BONUS: Make your story easy to discover!
- My friend Kenny did a fantastic write up on this aspect of getting your message out. You need (NEED!) to go and read his post on using a press release service. [Click here to read “3 Services To Use For Sending Out A Press Release About Your Church.” on Godvertiser] You need to make it easy for members of the press to discover your story . . . they want to find it . . . you need to put it somewhere where it can be found!
What about your church? When stories have been covered by the media . . . what information have you provided that has made it super easy for them to cover you?
Make sure to come back on Friday where we will talk about the one critical factor that needs to drive your media strategy . . . just getting that factor right could be difference between national coverage or no coverage.