Marketing the Message to the Media
January 27, 2007 • By Adria Hall
According to Corporate Watch UK, a public relations and lobbying industry group out of England:
“Public relations is the practice of getting attention and shaping public opinion. Its tools include publicity, advertising, public affairs forums, lobbying public officials, and any and every other means that gets a message out to the public. Mostly however it is about placing stories in the media, getting newspapers, radio, and television to accept stories or messages sourced from PR agencies. This gives the illusion that the client's message is simply the product of impartial journalism rather than advertising with which the consumer is more familiar and resistant. Sir Tim Bell, of Bell Pottinger, comments, "A strong story placed in the newspaper, picked up by everybody else, will actually have more impact than an advertising campaign."
Question: How could we begin a campaign on The Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Answer: WE cannot - but God can.
It is by the power of The Holy Spirit that all men will come to know the name of Jesus Christ, but it is by our willingness, our wisdom, and our winning ways that we can market the message of Christ, which simply put is a message of salvation, love, faith, hope and grace. Relationships are a key to life. It is through our relationships that we will win others to the Lord. Our relationships with those in the media are no exception.
Here are seven steps to follow when seeking to promote a message, brand, event, opportunity, or activity to the media.
1. Identify the local media outlets in your area. Keep these in your current database. These include: newspapers, radio stations, television stations, both news and public affairs departments.
2. Begin to establish relationships with individuals who report on areas of interest that have synergy with your message.
3. Pray for and over these individuals. Pray for an opportunity to serve them.
4. Call and invite them out to breakfast or for after work coffee with the intent to willingly offer them contacts and story ideas.
5. Don’t just contact them when you need something. Be available to them when they need help too.
6. Realize that a reporter’s best friend is her Rolodex. If you are willing to open yours up to them, then you become an invaluable resource.
7. Remember that media professionals are always working on deadline. Be sensitive to this reality and respond promptly.