Doing great work in digital—marketing, SEO, content creation, advertising and more—is a great way to get found. But it isn’t the only way.
Getting mentioned in a media outlet like RELEVANT or the like not only affords third-party credibility, it also can boost your organization’s Google and Bing search rankings.
It’s tough to get included in a media story, even just a mention. It takes patience, hard work and skill. But when done right, the payoff is often worth it.
Here are a few techniques for securing media coverage—7 ways PR can help your Christian organization get found:
1. Make news. Do something no other organization is doing. Serve people well. Develop game-changing products. Partner with well-known organizations. Go big for a worthy cause that aligns well with your organization’s mission.
2. Invite a key journalist to lunch with your CEO (or pastor or director). Make sure the CEO/pastor/director is prepared to discuss key issues happening in your industry or community that the journalist may not know about—and how your company or organization solves those issues. In other words, make sure the leader has a great story to tell—beyond just what your company does—and doesn’t waste the journalist’s time.
3. Scan HARO and ProfNet for media opportunities. HARO (Help A Reporter Out)—a free service—and ProfNet—a subscription service—send multiple queries from journalists each day who are looking for sources to comment in a story. Scan queries and respond to those that are most relevant to your Christian-based organization and for which you can add valuable insight.
4. Develop a list of story ideas and proactively pitch them. If you have a strong story idea—one that’s relevant, timely and in line with a journalist’s area of coverage—pitch your idea to him or her. But remember: journalists receive hundreds of pitches from PR people daily. The more your pitch is relevant, unique, timely and succinct (just 2-3 sentences should suffice), the better.
5. Write and contribute articles to key media outlets. Many media outlets accept guest articles. It can take some work to get published, but having persistence and a great story will help. So will following their submission guidelines.
6. Research editorial calendars of key media outlets. Identify media outlets that are a good, obvious fit for your Christian-based organization. Then research their editorial calendars (usually published on their websites) to find upcoming stories where your organization could offer valuable insight.
7. Create interesting visuals. Infographics that simply and quickly communicate a message, educate or put an issue into perspective make excellent sources for media outlets. Alternatively, short videos that are funny, emotional and resonate with audiences are often used by the media.
Before pursuing media coverage, keep a few things in mind:
Make sure your CEO/pastor/director or spokesperson is media trained. He or she should know how handle an interview, including how to appropriately answer questions and communicate important messages.
Be available. If you offer your leader as a source, be sure you both are available. (Remember: sometimes the media will call at night or on weekends.)
Aim for relationship, not just media coverage. Although media coverage is what you want, if you don’t have a strong news story, coverage will be tough to secure. Breaking news will always trump other stories. It’s best to aim for relationships. Get to know journalists, their areas of coverage and what types of stories they like. Then be sure you give them what they need regularly so they come to trust you as a source. (Also remember: respect their “no” if that’s the response you get.)
When done well, PR—namely, media relations—is an excellent way to help your Christian-based organization get found.