and the media may be interested. But it is important that you approach the media with your stories in a way that is interesting and useful. So how do we go about getting the best coverage for the stories we want to tell. Here are some things to consider.
Everyday matters do not grab people's attention. The different and unusual very often will. You need to think about what are doing and how you can interest people. So church holds service is not interesting but if it is a special service of celebration or remembrance then that may be of interest. Do not be afraid to "sell" your story. It will be competing with other stories and events so will need to stand out. Having the opportunity for a good photo will help. As will if you have something to say that links to news that is of local or national interest.
Remember the church is about more than services. Your community projects, outreach events and fundraising activities may all be stories the press want to hear about.
Plan and prepare
You need to be well organised. Think who may be interested in the story. Is it your local newspaper or would the story work for radio or even television. Give them enough time to research and develop the story and think about their deadlines. Weekly newspapers tend to be printed on a Tuesday or Wednesday so it is often best to contact journalists on a Thursday or Friday.
It is still useful to put information into a press release that you can send to your local editor. For guidance about how to put a press release together see the advice of the national media team on the Church of England website.
The press release needs to seel the story. It needs a good headline that summarises the story and the basic information about the story should be in the first paragraph. The release itself should be around one side of A4 long.
The basic questions you need to be able to answer in a good press release is
What? - is happening
Who? - is involved or affected
Where? - is it happening
When? - is it hapening
You may also want to cover the questions
How? - is this being done
Why? - are you doing this
It is a good idea to include a quote or two from relevant people.
Always remember to include contact details so the journalist can follow up the story. Make sure that person is able to talk about the story well and is actually available. The vicar is not always the best contact just because he is the vicar.
Always follow up your press release with a phone call to the journalist.
Finally if you think the story may have wider regional or national interest or it maybe something of interest to the church press then please let the communications team know.