Are you involved in one of our ministry teams - perhaps planning a church event? Read more about how to use this new resource effectively.
Not every church activity is ripe for wider media coverage. We want to make sure that we use our contacts wisely. Here are a few thoughts on what will help:
Newspapers and television stations are interested in amazing accomplishments, acts of charity, courage and sacrifice, and other stories with a human interest angle. Visuals are optimal to generate media interest and provide newspapers and television stations with excellent photographing opportunities.
For example, children making get well cards for an ill church member, adults participating in a tug-of-war in the back of the church to raise money for a charitable cause et al.
If you have ideas for external media coverage, please contact Mike at least one week in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. More advance time is better, whenever possible. For example, the McFarland Thistle publishes on Thursdays, goes to print on Mondays, and is setting articles up the week before. Please provide specific details, including why the activity would be of interest to the community. Be sure to share your thoughts on why the activity is a good way to promote McFarland UCC - how it ties into our identity as A Church with Heart.
Even if an activity is not a great fit for external media, we can publicize it internally. Here are the ways we generally use our communications venues:
- Social Media (Facebook & Twitter) is our fastest way to get the word out, using the least lead time. Great for photos, videos and urgent updates, but it does not reach everybody in the church.
- McFarland UCC Website/Blog can work in tandem with social media. We can include longer updates on our own website than we can on social media. A blog post is generally our go-to resource. If there's an longer-running activity for which we want a quick link that's easy to remember (for example, mcfarlanducc.org/flamingo) we can post a temporary page.
- E-Newsletter works in tandem with the blog. The newsletter goes out with an initial paragraph that links to a post on our website with full information. That initial paragraph acts like a teaser, to get people interested in knowing more. An e-newsletter takes a little bit more lead time; we're aiming for one a month. Ideally, plan ahead and send Mike information in the first two weeks of the month for publication the following month (for example, material for September should be received by mid-August).
- Special Mailing Lists are available for niche interests. At this time, we have a Family Ministry list (people currently raising children), Arts (art, music, theater related), and Congregational Care (being helping hands when someone is in crisis).
- Bulletin Board space is available. Please have a word with Pastor Kerri if you're interested in taking over a bulletin board for a season, to promote an activity.
- Bulletin Inserts, Posters & Flyers use a lot of paper. They're seldom the most effective use of our resources, but if you think your event would benefit, let's talk.
- Announcements & Invitations to Mission can be set up by prior arrangement. Unless it's a true crisis, we try to plan ahead by several weeks, and limit pre-worship announcements to keep things zippy on Sunday morning. An invitation to mission happens during the service, but should always be followed up with...
- Personal Invitations! Circulate during coffee hour and talk to people at worship. Make phone calls. The most effective way to engage ministry partners is to have a direct conversation.
If you'd like to strategize about how to promote an upcoming ministry initiative, call or email Pastor Kerri or our Communications Coordinator to set up a time to talk.