The Biggest Tip for Working with the Media as a Church Leader
One of the areas that we set out to improve at Liquid in 2012 was the way we worked with the press. We’ve been trying to get the media’s attention about what we’re doing as a church. We think that there is all kinds of “good news” happening around here and we want the world to know! We’re trying to follow Jesus’ direction to shine for the everyone to see what he is up to … and the press is one way for more people to see the work of Jesus in action!
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Jesus (Matthew 5:16)
Here are some of the highlights from this last year of coverage of our church:
- We kicked off the year talking about our Pop God series … and the story was picked up by radio, local and some hyper local outlets.
- When Tim Tebow was traded the Jets … we got calls from state wide outlets asking for our opinion on the trade. That was fun!
- We celebrated our 5th anniversary as a church last spring and received coverage of our community outreach projects from a bunch of places. [Morristown Green] [Daily Record] [A Bunch of “Patches”]
- Over the summer time our teaching team – Tim & Tom – went down to muddy waters of Oklahoma to fish for 50 pound catfish with their barehands as a part of series on Jonah! It’s a story made for press coverage! [Daily Record] [Aspury Park Press] [Even Church Executive News Got in on the action!]
- This fall we had two series that we were able to get press coverage for. One was a series leveraging the national election fervor to talk about the Kingdom of God and the other was when we had a convicted gangster come as a special speaker.
- By far our biggest media response was to our SandyThanksgiving outreach where we mobilized over 2,000 people to help families-in-need after Hurricane Sandy. We cleaned out hundreds of homes, distributed relief supplies and served warm meals to relief workers and the community. The coverage was huge! Here are just a few pieces: [NJTODAY] [K-LOVE National Radio] [Wall Street Journal] [CNN] [ABCNews] [CBS News]
When I reflect back on working with various members of the press over this past year I’m drawn back to one principle that has helped us the most in obtaining great coverage:
Writers, reporters and producers are busy people. Serve them. Make it easy for them to report on you.
Although we employ a lot of tactics to get the press attention … serving them is the biggest thing we can do. They all have bosses that have put incredible pressure on them to crank out stories and they are looking for organizations that make it simple and straight forward to report on. Organizations that make it easy to report on … get reported on!