The GOSPEL of Good Media Relations for Churches
(Image source: Amarillo Globe-News 9.18.2017)
If there is one entity that can greatly improve their public relations efforts, it’s the church community. This is not specific to boosting up the profile of the preachers, but in reference to church programs. Churches have a wealth of activities and services that could be accessed by more than just their members. Yet, to a great extent, the programs go on with little external participation. In some cases, even the surrounding neighbors don’t know about the events until they see all the cars ringed around the church and the flutter of activity.
This does not have to be the case, particularly in this digital age. Churches can be more proactive and effective in promoting their events and celebrating their milestones. Here’s some ideas for churches to keep in mind to help them tell their stories.
Using the GOSPEL method for good media relations for churches can get earned (free) media coverage and help to bolster the presence of the church in the community. It doesn’t guarantee media, but it gives churches an effective process to use to take their programs beyond the four walls of their church.
Oftentimes, churches may send fliers to the media and wrongly assume that’s all it takes to get coverage. Unless the flier is being used as a paid ad, the coverage is not guaranteed. When just being given a flier as a community news item, the media has to go through too much, especially print media, to pull out key information. It is best to include a press release with the flier. The press release doesn’t have to be long or perfectly written, but it should simply have the five W’s we noted in the P section of the GOSPEL method. It is one thing to have a good press release, but churches should also consider running ads in daily and weekly newspapers as well as radio at least two to three weeks in advance of the event. Sure, ads cost money, but the coverage is guaranteed with an ad. But the cost is relatively reasonable for the reach that is gained.
Keeping these key methods in mind will improve the media coverage churches get and increase the number of attendees to events. Perhaps the details we have shared may not be in the job description of many church secretaries or be within their skillsets. If this is the case, churches can utilize the services of PR firms like TCM Communications to help them advance their brands.