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Main Index
ChurchPR Home

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.

Coming Event Listings

Event listings are simply lists of events published in newspapers or magazines telling people what is going to be happening.

Often they are broken out by topic and are listed chronologically. Frequently events are artsy. Things such as jazz and dance, theater and movies, children's events, seminars, lectures, seminars, and so forth. Generally they are condensed to a single short paragraph, usually in small type.

I mention listings first not because they are the most important type of information carried by newspapers (or other media), but because they are one of the easiest places to get your church mentioned. If you have something different going on at your church, it is very likely you can get it published in one of the events columns.

Now, I say "something different going on" because it is unlikely (though not impossible) that a newspaper will publish a notice about your regular weekend service. The newspaper folks assume your church will be having worship services, and they reasonably believe that anybody bright enough to read a newspaper is probably bright enough to realize that churches have regularly scheduled services. Thus they are disinclined to tell people what they already know.

However, the newspapers don't know about your special guest speaker, or about the visiting choir, or about your disaster relief fundraiser, or the play your high school group is planning, or your Christmas concert. All these and a thousand more topics are excellent material to send in for the newspaper events columns.


Examples

THEATER LISTINGS - Broadway Comedy "Mary, Mary"

March 14, 1999

First Avenue Church
123 N. First Ave.
Hometown, CA 91111

Contact: Bill Jones, (818) 555-1212

First Avenue Church's Upper Room Theater presents the Broadway hit comedy, "Mary, Mary, by Jean Kerr. The play will be performed Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm, on April 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and May 1 in the theater, located on the second floor of the Palm Street Building on the church campus, at 123 N. First Ave. in Hometown. For ticket information, call (818) 555-1212.

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CLASSES - Kindermusik Classes for Chidren

Sept. 27, 1999

First Avenue Church
123 N. First Ave.
Hometown, CA 91111

Contact: Ann Lee, class registrar - (818) 555-1212

Kindermusik Classes Begin

First Avenue Church's Creative Arts Group is now beginning its fall Kindermusk classes. These classes, for children from infancy to five years old, are designed to contribute to children's musical, physical, social, emotional and cognitive development, while aiding language and listening skills. For information about the classes, contact Ann at (818) 555-1212. First Avenue Church is located at 123 N. First Ave. in Hometown.

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EVENT LISTINGS - Maundy Thursday Service, April 1

March 12, 1999

First Avenue Church
123 N. First Ave.
Hometown, CA 91111

Contact: Contact: Bill Jones, (818) 555-1212

Hometown's First Avenue Church will hold its annual Maundy Thursday communion service on April 1 in the church's Worship Center. This special pre-Easter service, featuring the church choir, worship teams, organ and instrumentalists, reflects on Christ's passion and the institution of the Lord's Supper. First Avenue Church is located at 123 N. First Ave. in Hometown.

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© Copyright 1999 Brad Haugaard