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.
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.
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...
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.
"But isn't the media biased against Christianity?" Probably, but here's why it usually doesn't make much difference.
But What Can I Write About?
Hmm... How about:
A guest speaker.
A guest choir.
A community outreach program, such as food distribution.
An upcoming wedding.
Christmas, Easter and other holiday events.
A fundraising banquet.
A tutoring program.
A conference your church is hosting.
An art class that is about to start.
An exhibition of the work of an art class.
A missionary who is back from another country (especially a country in the news).
A member who used to live in some hotspot around the world.
A church group that has just returned from a missions trip.
A member who has a family member in some hot spot around the world.
A student becomes an Eagle scout.
A church festival or carnival.
A new staff member or pastor.
A pastor who is moving on.
A new stained-glass window.
A member has a book published.
A member who is well-known in the community dies.
Your church or pastor is featured in a denominational magazine, or any national publication. (Send along a copy of the article.)
A member molds lead mice out of old tire weights (or has some other interesting profession or hobby, such as wood carving, painting, music, etc.).
An anniversary. (Matilda has been teaching the kindergarten class for 30 years.)
A church member turns 100.
A couple celebrates their 50th wedding anniversary.
A new Sunday school class.
A Sunday school class outreach project.
Your Christian education building (or whatever) is being renovated.
The city approves your building project.
Groundbreaking on your building project.
Completion of your building project.
Grand opening of your building project.
Paying off the mortgage on your building project.
A clothing distribution project.
Your church gets a Web page.
A member has received a professional or community award.
And sometimes, though not very often, you can even get the times of your services published. Usually these are pasted in as a filler when the newspaper has nothing else. Check for a few weeks to see if one of your local newspapers does this. If so, send the information in and ask to be included.
Not all of these are appropriate for all publications, and even if they were you'd go bonkers if you did them all. Pick and choose. Also, if you have any other good ones, let me know. Maybe I'll include a few more here.
© Copyright 1999 Brad Haugaard.