Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Part four of the "Born to be a star" series:

Too Hot to Handle

At the start of this “Born to be a star” series, we realise that one of the best ways to dispel myths and misconceptions about the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to engage the media.

In this current day and age, it's not what we have to say that matters. It's what others have to say about us that does. We need to get reporters writing about what Seventh-day Adventists are doing in the community, the love and care Adventists show others and the fact that we are mainstream Christians.

And as we found out in the second issue, engaging the media is not just a task for the professional communicator, but something any church member can do. All we need to do is to give the media what they want and they want news that has:
  • Impact
  • Timeliness
  • Proximity
  • An element of the unusual
Providing the media with news would most likely include writing a media release. The good news is, you do not have to be a Pulitzer prize winner to write a media release. All you have to do is follow a few simple rules:
  • Entice the reader
  • Inverted triangle rule
  • Include quotes
  • Contact number
  • Plan in advance
  • Keep it short
  • Follow up
  • Practice
Familiarise yourself with the media in your community. Find out the publication day of the local paper. Have within easy reach the contact details of the newsdesk of your local paper or community radio station so that you can get information out to them in time.

But how do you actually “pitch” your story to the media?

There are no hard and fast rules to that. You can either send the media release to them and wait for a response, or you can call the reporter or newsdesk, telling them that you have a story that they may be interested in. Make sure you are able to summarise the story into one or two sentences as you would otherwise lose their attention very quickly.

Bear in mind that reporters will want to interview people and take photos if they are interested in a story, so be prepared to organise a time and location for that to take place.

Provide the reporter with as much information about the news story as you can. Make sure names are spelt right and dates are accurate.

But most of all, enjoy the experience and relish the knowledge that your local church and the Seventh-day Adventist Church is that one step closer to becoming a household name as the church that cares.

Start engaging the media today!

This is the final article for the series entitled “Born to be a star” distributed to local church newsletters in Australia and New Zealand.

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1 comment:

spike said...

SISTER!!!! i'm dying in school.. haiz my assignment this week, is to brainstorm for 20 creative ideas. but i've gotta be in school from 830- 6 every day, regardless of whether i've got anything to do. what's more, there's a camera in the class room staring at us in which the lecturer can monitor us!!! and every day i come in, all i do is chat and surf till i've got nothing to chat about and nothing to read about!! GOSH!!! ARRGGHH!!!

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