Communication Quick Facts
- What do you want to communicate?
- No matter how small the item to be communicated, think through the plan
- i.e., morning announcements, letters you want to write, bulletin information, newsletters, etc
- Who is your target audience? Who are the people you are trying to reach?
- The “at least 7 times” rule - market research shows that the average person needs to hear a message at least seven different times before it begins to sink into their consciousness.
- Community calendars and bulletin boards
- Online calendars
- Chamber of Commerce/other service organizations
o Public Service Announcements, About Town
o Picture-worthy news items, community calendars, local cable access
o Know the reporter - religion, features, community, calendar. Be willing to answer questions in a non-defensive way. Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know but I will find out." Then get back to the reporter.
o Media releases - a concise story that tells a reporter a newsworthy bit of information. Explain in clear language any jargon or terms specific to the church.
o Features - newspapers want fresh info like special events, youth activities, or well-known guest speakers.
o Photographs- If possible send a photo with your story. Place a white label on the back of the photo identifying the people and include a contact name and number.
o Realize you can't control what the newspaper prints but you can give accurate and complete information.
General Media Release Information
- Media Kit - This generally includes basic information about the church, an event, photos if available, biographies of speakers, and other relevant information.
- Biographical Information - Communications keeps a short biographical sketch for paid ministers. These are very helpful in publicizing a guest minister.
- Photographs - Communications has photos of most paid ministers for publicity purposes.
- Electronic formats - The church nameplate, seal, and other images are available online or on CD-ROM from Communications.
o Style guide and standards
Hints and Tips
- Proofread and spell check - Don't make careless mistakes that could be caught by having one other person read your work before it's printed.
- Think about copyright issues
STOP and THINK BEFORE YOU…
- Use the majority or whole of someone else's work
- Alter or reproduce someone else's creative work such as poetry or music
- Show video tapes in public
- Record music and talk over it in a public performance or educational setting
- Duplicate and circulate cartoons
- Copy and incorporate information from the Internet/someone else's Web site in your work
- Copy newsletters
- Use materials in a context other than that for which permission was granted.
Who are the people who use your church building during the week?
- Neighborhood - what kind of area is located around your church
o Businesses and schools
- Groups that use your church building
o Scouting programs
o Weddings, funerals
o Community programs
o Voter Polling Place
o Blood Drives
- Greater community
Best Face Forward
- Answering Machine Message - does the machine at your church have service times, when the caller might expect a return call, how to get in touch with someone in an emergency? These questions help make your congregation more inviting and in touch with someone who is calling.
- Congregational Bulletin Boards, Tract Rack, Newsletter, Bulletins - Look around your congregation. Are there old bulletins stacked up from last week, do your bulletin boards reflect current information. Many of our church buildings are used for community events where people may be standing around looking at whatever there is to read in order to occupy themselves while they are waiting.
- Web Site Updates - Keep your information up to date. People expect the most current material when searching online.
We can help you construct a consistent message and aid your spokesperson in the event of a crisis. 24-hour contact information can be found by calling 1-800-825-2806, ext. 3045 or ext. 3042.
- Natural disaster
- Arson or other vandalism
- Ministerial misconduct
How you can help us…
- Send newspaper clips mentioning your congregation, individual members, or any other related news to Communications.
- Send photos of members participating in the various activities of church life to Communications.
- Submit news items and photos to share through the Herald and World Church Web site.