Getting Favorable Publicity for Your Congregation

  • Reporters are NOT the enemy. They are a vehicle to proclaim the gospel.
  • Have you met local editor(s) or religion reporter(s)?
    • Make appointment to meet.
    • Ideally, meet key editors/reporters annually.
  • Give contact info, get contact info.
  • Always return reporters’ calls as promptly as possible. Reporters remember who returns calls and who doesn’t.
  • Are key editors/reporters getting your newsletter?
  • Do you have a congregational communicator?
  • Congregation web site is ESSENTIAL for everyone including reporters.
  • Keep congregational website up to date. There’s nothing worse than a web site not maintained.
  • Put web address on everything: Sunday worship bulletin, newsletter, your business card, church sign, yellow pages, etc.
  • Post newsletters and sermons on web site (some also post podcasts).
  • Inform local media in writing about special events in your congregation – historical event, ecumenical event, international visitors, work relief trip, new & unusual ministry. NOTE: Suggest photo possibilities! (Reporter may request a written report and/or photos from you).
  • Ash Wednesday, Easter, Reformation, Christmas: suggest synod create and circulate list of selected Lutheran congregations to local media for these special days. Be willing to be interviewed and photographed.
  • Check the news EVERYDAY. Know what may affect your ministry
  • Send links to reporters about interesting new posts on your web site.
  • Thank reporters by e-mail for good news reports. Discuss errors with others first.
  • Send Christmas cards to reporters with whom you have worked during the year.

Communication Resources

Guidelines for Media Interviews

The Tip Sheet for Media Interviews (

Working with the News Media: A Different Kind of Advocacy (

Report news contacts to the synod communicator (Karin Graddy, NIS Communication Director –

If you are willing to be available to the media: Let synod communicator know (Karin Graddy, NIS Communication Director –…