Getting Favorable Publicity for Your Congregation

  • Reporters are NOT the enemy. They are a vehicle to proclaim the gospel.
  • Have you met local editor(s) or religion reporter(s)?
    • Make appointment to meet.
    • Ideally, meet key editors/reporters annually.
  • Give contact info, get contact info.
  • Always return reporters’ calls as promptly as possible. Reporters remember who returns calls and who doesn’t.
  • Are key editors/reporters getting your newsletter?
  • Do you have a congregational communicator?
  • Congregation web site is ESSENTIAL for everyone including reporters.
  • Keep congregational website up to date. There’s nothing worse than a web site not maintained.
  • Put web address on everything: Sunday worship bulletin, newsletter, your business card, church sign, yellow pages, etc.
  • Post newsletters and sermons on web site (some also post podcasts).
  • Inform local media in writing about special events in your congregation – historical event, ecumenical event, international visitors, work relief trip, new & unusual ministry. NOTE: Suggest photo possibilities! (Reporter may request a written report and/or photos from you).
  • Ash Wednesday, Easter, Reformation, Christmas: suggest synod create and circulate list of selected Lutheran congregations to local media for these special days. Be willing to be interviewed and photographed.
  • Check the news EVERYDAY. Know what may affect your ministry
  • Send links to reporters about interesting new posts on your web site.
  • Thank reporters by e-mail for good news reports. Discuss errors with others first.
  • Send Christmas cards to reporters with whom you have worked during the year.

Communication Resources

Guidelines for Media Interviews

The Tip Sheet for Media Interviews (facesandvoicesofrecovery.org)

Working with the News Media: A Different Kind of Advocacy (nafsa.org)

Report news contacts to the synod communicator (Karin Graddy, NIS Communication Director – karin@nisynod.org)

If you are willing to be available to the media: Let synod communicator know (Karin Graddy, NIS Communication Director – karin@nisynod.org)…