The holiday season is the perfect opportunity for ministries and faith-based organizations to gain media coverage. While others are slowing down on their PR efforts, this is a great time to share content such as the importance of giving back, your ministry’s outreach efforts and stories of those who benefited from your outreach efforts within your local community.
Media outlets, both locally and nationally, are looking for compelling stories of triumph, compassion and generosity leading into the holiday season. Here are 5 tips to help maximize your public relations efforts during the holidays.
- Start your PR planning early – Attempt to start your planning early. Bring your creative team together to brainstorm some out-of-the-box ways to communicate the message of hope, compassion and giving to your audience. Analyze what has worked in the past and previous goals that may not have been met. During this time, create your ideal media list and establish relationships with your key media outlets (national and local). Start with the outlets your ministry or organization may have a relationship with. Majority of these outlets begin with those whom they have relationships with when looking to fill opportunities with morning shows, online features and evening broadcast.
- Create content from October to December – The holiday season is a great way to capitalize on holiday themes. From Harvest Fest to New Years, creating articles and blog posts, a sermon series or social media posts centered around each holiday will increase your audience attention. As Dave Adamson, Social Media and Online Pastor of North Point Church says, says “When creating capturing photos or content for our social pages, our goal is to make them (followers) stop scrolling”. Stay relevant by taking advantage of sharing the stories of your ministry or congregants with your social audience and your mainstream media audience as well. Get the conversation going by asking questions such as “What random act of kindness are you personally doing this Holiday season?”, “What’s on your Christmas list this year?” or “What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017?”
- Don’t dismiss the power of a good hashtag – Show that your ministry is relevant by using corporate and creative hashtags to engage with your audience and the audience outside the four walls of your ministry. Share how your ministry is celebrating the holidays and benefiting others in need by sharing your links with local centered Holiday hashtags.
- Present and present well – When sharing your stories or ministry events with your audiences and media outlets, present each with excellence. When pitching to media, have all of your materials lined up and ready to go. The media will not wait for you to get your materials together. They are on tight deadlines. Let’s make this experience an easy one for them. From press releases, videos and photos– present well and come ready! Your story will be likely picked up because of how well and persistent your approach is.
- Never stop sharing – Just because Thanksgiving is over, that doesn’t mean you should stop sharing. Outlets don’t want to just hear about your event prior to the actual event date, but they want to know the outcome of your efforts after the event has taken place. Find ways to distribute content to your audiences beyond Nov. 24th! While others are letting up on their approach, you should continue to dish out content.
By implementing these five tips, your ministry will be well on its way to seeing PR success for the holidays. During this entire process, be sure to think about what efforts you would like to capitalize this year and the upcoming year. Ask yourself, “What is the overall message that our ministry desires to share during the holiday season?”Now, we want to hear from you! What ways are you making the Holiday season bright for your ministry, organization or surrounding community?