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Basics

Why Bother?
Why it is worth your time to write a press release, and why beginners have a special advantage.

Where To Send It
Some tips on finding appropriate publications to send your press release to.

Timing
The most frequent and fatal error in writing a press release, and how not to make it.

A Few Points of Style
A few stylistic points, for the press release and yourself.

Three Types
of Press Release

1. Coming Event
Let's start easy. Let the community know about special events at your church.

2. Feature Story
What interesting people are there at your church? This could even land you on the front page - maybe.

3. News Story
What newsworthy event will happen at your church? Last not because it is least, but because it is less frequent that you'll be able to use it. But some day...

Etc.

What to Write About
"But nothing's happening at my church." Bet there is. And if there isn't, there's more wrong with your church than a press release can fix.

Media Bias
"But isn't the media biased against Christianity?" Probably, but here's why it usually doesn't make much difference.

 

Are the Media against Christianity?

Having been on the inside and outside of newspapers, I'd say that unless things have changed substantially recently, most reporters and editors do not particularly care for Christianity.

But the next question has to be, "Does it matter?"

In most cases I'd say it matters very little at all. There are examples of bias in the media, but for the most part I think you can generally expect reasonably fair treatment.

Why?

For a couple reasons. First, reporters are trained to be fair. They aren't always, but that is their training. This is in your favor. Second, many reporters tend to think of things in terms of politics, so I suspect they are not so much against Christianity as against certain political stands that many Christians have taken (on abortion and homosexuality, for example). And if one of those topics is not at issue, I don't see much reason why you would run into trouble. (I'm not saying - by the way - to back down on anything you believe; simply that if that isn't the topic of the press release, you are unlikely to face hostile reporting.)

Copyright 1999 Brad Haugaard.