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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.

Have you considered sending out a press release regarding your church?  If not, what questions do you have about press releases and your ministry?  Leave them in the comment section below and I’ll try to answer them in the next post on PR.

Church growth is such an important topic these days.

Some criticism has been that the mainline denominations haven’t been strategic enough about assimilation strategy and evangelistic intentionality.

But the Catholic Church apparently isn’t going to sit back and let church attendance decline on its own.

Instead, it seems that the Vatican has announced a decision to forgo organic growth in preference for a mergers and acquisition strategyor rather a hostile takeover bid aimed squarely at the Anglican Church.

The Roman Catholic Church is taking advantage of recent political heat the Church of England is taking over female and gay clergy issues.  And the Pope felt it was the right time to reach out in hopes converting masses of disgruntled Anglicans to the Catholic faith.

At a press conference, the Vatican even announced a new canonical structure to accommodate existing Anglican traditions inside of the Catholic faith. In a way, it’s like acquiring a company and letting the current management to stay in tact. For example, married Anglican preists to stay married, alongside existing Catholic priests restricted from marriage (Hmm…will that sit well permanently without causing any friction????)

It’s a bold move.  Apparently it took a lot of people by surprise.  It also looks like the Anglican Church leadership didn’t have much choice either.

What do you think about this?  What is the Catholic Church really trying to do via this move?