The Practical Side of Getting the Word Out

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Bunnie Jackson Ransom speaking to a class at Georgia State University

I have written two books about Getting the Word Out: How to Market Your Ministry (1st and 2nd Editions).  These publications focus on the church and the ministries; however, you might work for a non-profit organization, and it becomes your “ministry” because you love helping people.  I believe that your ministry can be anything you put your heart and soul into doing in order to help people.  The ministry takes on a bigger and broader meaning if you believe in God.  For example, my ministry is my business.  I believe that when I help a church “get the word out” on what they are doing, they/we are winning more souls for God. Therefore, we help people find God through some of the work I do for participating churches who take heed of the advice. Somebody who is a teacher, can feel their ministry is teaching.  If you own a business and it is a bakery, if you care enough, your ministry could be the cupcakes you create.  Getting the Word Out: How to Market Your Ministry can be applicable in just about anything anyone does to promote one’s ministry if you work hard and believe this is your purpose in life and you are helping others through your work.

 

The books I wrote offer a lot of practical detail on what one has to do in order to get the word out so people can hear about your service or product. If you read these books, you will find techniques on how to write a press release and how to get it to the news media.  If you want media to capture your story and put you in the news, understand the process always starts with providing the news desk with good content — a good press release. Within the books, you will find tips on how to write a media advisory and when to use this technique. After providing a variety of tools and techniques, I’m now trying to come up with examples of actual things that we have done for our clients to get the word out to the appropriate audience — those who will use the product and service you offer within your ministry. .

We stress using many techniques.to get you before the public in all forms of media that include broadcast, print, and on the internet.  How do we do that?  Sometimes we have to help our clients make news – a good way to do this is to come up with an event, or a special project, or a situation that has a “hook.”  We must impress the news director at the radio station or television station, along with the editor at the newspaper with news that sizzles. Again, you need great content. The social media approach for getting the word out is just an important.  The content created can be used for each technique – just changed bit to capture the attention of the specific demographic you are reaching. Use visual content for television and the internet.  Use your “words” for radio.

Not everything you do is news.  Planning to reach out to the public and capture interest in what you have to offer takes a strategy.  You must have a product or service that the public wants, and then you must tell the public in a way they will listen to you, engage their interest, and cause action.

The press release, which we keep talking about, includes describing what, where, when, and why. If you are planning an event, we also write a media advisory (a shorter statement to the press) and give the details of the event, such as the date, time it starts, the address, the phone number, as well as names of some VIP’s whom you expect to attend; and this will help capture the attention of television or radio to come and cover the occasion.

As a result of us getting to the radio, television stations through your press releases, media advisories, and your follow up phone calls, we are able to attract radio coverage, and print coverage.

This is only one method which we use to get the word out. The same content you create for traditional media can be used for social media.  The method writing for social media is more personal, more-friendly.  After all social media is having a conversation with your friends.

Finally, don’t forget to lean on your relationship with your community to get the word out.  After all, public relations is having a relationship with the public.  So, work it. Spread the word at your clubs, your church – talk to your friends, face-to-face sometimes.  Do not depend solely on social media to communicate.  Sometimes picking up the telephone is necessary to communicate rather than a text message.

This demonstrates how we use our community relations strength to advocate for causes using public engagement and community relations, as a marketing tool.  If you don’t use this technique, you’re leaving out a major element of how to market your service or project. You must go to people and talk to them, you can’t just put it on the radio or on your Facebook page.

Make sure that your brand is consistent across all methods. Your brand is your logo, your tag line, and your color scheme.  Your brand also includes consistent messages. All of this information makes up your content.  And, remember “Content is King.”

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