There is one marketing tactics that I believe most pastors think should be off-limits (or rather don’t ever think about) for getting the word out about the great stuff their ministry is doing.
What could that be?
It’s the basic press release.
But a press release will accomplish several things at once. In addition, what you think might be newsworthy only on the local level might actually be interesting to national media outlets in telling the story of what’s on the pulse of the nation. One press release we sent out recently got the attention of 175+ local news stations across the country.
Consider just a couple of the following benefits, and let me know what you think:
1) Press releases gets your news out on the web. Everyone talks about search engine optimization and marketing, and press releases in a very efficient way to get your ministry and corresponding links to pages on your website sprinkled across the web in front of new audiences. This benefit is for more than just the immediate timeframe, as the links will help drive incremental traffic over time as people find the older releases and click through to your site, even years after you have sent the press release out.
2) If you want your local and regional community to take notice and talk about your ministry, a press release alerts local papers and hyper-local news outlets like the Patch, and radio stations. Without a press release, it would be almost impossible for them to proactively find your ministry efforts so that they can share with their audiences.
3) If you write your press release in a very targeted manner, you will be able to insert yourself into the conversation people are already having around the water cooler about what they find in various media outlets. If you are able to be strategic in relating your news or activities to the current zeitgeist, you’ll find yourself become immediately relevant to new audiences in a fresh and interesting way.
By the way, did you notice something that’s common to all three points above? How about the fact that one of the major benefits of sending out a press release as a part of your church marketing activities is that it gets your ministry in front of new audiences.
If you start with this objective in mind, you might find that a strategically planned press release distribution and follow-up plan might do your ministry some good in getting new people to cross that threshold.