1. Get newsworthy info into the hands of the media. Make a habit of sending out releases on a regular basis about your events, special speakers, or anything impacting the community at large. Use a media directory or “Google” on the web to find names and contact information.
2. Get to know the beat of reporters of the daily and weekly newspapers. Position yourself with them as an accessible and reliable source and a key authority to be featured in future stories.
3. Read the dailies, weeklies! Respond to articles where you can take a stand on an issue while branding your book by writing a “Letter to Editor” or an “Op Ed” – Opinion Editorial.
4. Send out media releases for really intriguing or fascinating human interest stories by using news wire services. Wire services get wider distribution and can be picked up by national media via the web.
5. Place ads in local newspapers and monthly magazines. Have the ads consistent with your other marketing materials.
6. Become a regular advertiser in at least one publication. You build brand equity with that audience by advertising in one publication. They learn to trust you. Purchase ads in souvenir program books like the NAACP or SCLC to show your commitment to the community.
7. Feature bold graphics and a lot of white space in your newspaper and magazine ads. Keep copy to a minimum. Steer people to your web site. Color commands attention and adds impact. It also gets better ad placement in newspapers.
8. Supply media with well-written and professionally developed press kits. Include press releases (the who, what, when, where, how and why), fact sheets, bios, photo, brochure, annual reports and news clips. Suggest a story idea in the cover letter. Use the industry format for releases to improve your chances of gaining publicity.
9. Expect very little communication back from editors. They are very busy every day with tons of lead for stories. Assign an intern or team member to follow up by phone, email, or both.
10. Read any and all publications you can. Note stories that deal with issues important to your ministry. Add that reporter to your media contact list to send them future releases. The best media lists are the ones you personally create and are familiar with the reporter’s work and style.
11. Send out thank you notes to reporters who feature you in stories. They will remember your personal touch and will keep you in mind as a good source in the future.
12. Assign a photographer to take photos at ALL events where you are participating. Releasing the photos to the media after an event is called Post-Publicity. Send the photo with a brief description of the event. Identify the people in the photo with a label on the back. Realize that newspapers always need good photos. Most black newspapers love to chronicle events in the community.
Ministry marketing pioneer, Award-winning social media strategist and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.” She offers help through her private mentorship program at http://www.PamPerryMentoring.com
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