How to Access the Local Print Media for Advertising

Here are some tips that will help you to successfully promote your ministry in the local print media

Using the local print media (newspapers, magazines, brochures, etc.) to advertise your events is one way to attract attention to your ministries. In fact, this method is likely underused by local church congregations, as many churches are hesitant to engage the surrounding culture. By utilizing the resources of the local print media, you can inform the community at large—often for a very small monetary investment—about the amazing ministries that you are providing for young adults in the area

Here are some tips that will help you to successfully promote your ministry in the local print media

Keep your writing clear and focused

Don’t write page upon page of how amazing your program is. Simply state the basics so that the editor (and eventually the reader) can have a clear idea of what you are attempting to accomplish in your event. Submitting a succinct article will also increase your chances of being published. Keep your press release to one page.

The personal touch is always nice.

Address your inquiries to the editor of the local print media. Find out their name and personalize your attempts to be published. Follow up with calls, emails and, where possible, a personal meeting. If you are able to win over the local print editor, your task of informing the community about your programs will be successful.

Always include date/time/location.

Some church advertisements, in an attempt to be “hip” or “edgy,” simply state the clever title of their ministry (“FUSION,” “ELEVATE,” etc.) and some tag phrase on ads, without ever explaining to the reader what the name refers to. Along with your clever name for your ministry, be sure to inform the reader of the general gist of what you are trying to accomplish.

Be professional.

Don’t try to be too cute or cool in your writing. Get someone else to proofread everything before you send it out. If what you send doesn’t seem professional, local media will not take you seriously. If need be, find someone at your church with a gift for writing or a journalism/public relations background to help.

Have an angle.

Media is not in the habit of providing free advertising. Unless it’s an extremely slow news day, they aren’t going to run an article on your church just because you think they should. Pitch them on a real story. What is unique about your ministry? Is your ministry part of a greater cultural/community movement? Remember that newspapers run stories—not free promos.

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Know the audience.

While most local print media outlets are targeted to all citizens within a particular community, some are targeted toward specific subgroups. Become certain that the publication’s audience is a good fit for your ministry. Likewise, convince the editor that it is a good fit as well.

Understand that advertising is inherently limited.

Even if you do everything properly and get your article/advertisement published in the right publication, remember that print media is just one of many promotional avenues. Pass out fliers, talk to people, call up other churches, put up posters, send out emails, create a website and, most importantly, pray for the Lord to draw people to your ministry.

Local print media can be one facet of a multi-pronged strategy to draw more people to your ministry—if done right.

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