Good News Can Be Newsworthy
Good publicity starts with your own parish community. It’s helpful to promote your parish activities using all of the tools that are described in this guide, such as through personal invitation, social media, website, email and texting. Here is a great article with 19 tips to promote your event or ministry.
Also, do you make it a habit of sharing your good news stories with the community? We are called to invite others to “come and see” (John 1:39) as Jesus did!
There are many ways to promote your ministries, ministry leaders and events. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you along the way.
Publicity Around the Diocese
- The Diocese of St. Petersburg offers an online calendar of events for Catholic groups to publicize events happening at our local parishes, schools and entities. We promote fundraisers, support groups, dances and devotionals plus mission talks, festivals, retreats, and other faith-enrichment activities. To view the events or to submit your parish event, visit this webpage and click “suggest an event”: dosp.org/events. All visiting priests, religious, and lay persons (including musicians) who are invited to come to the diocese must receive clearance and/or permission through the Office of Chancellor before they are able to perform any type of public ministry, parish missions, days of reflection, concerts, or speaking engagements. See policy here: https://www.dosp.org/chancellor/resources/.
- Pastoral Center staff and staff from parishes, schools and diocesan ministries are invited to submit articles or press releases of significant and/or mileston events to the News section of the Pastoral Bulletin and for diocesan-wide social media. It is also helpful to submit a related photo or image that is of good resolution and quality. Articles should be approximately 300-500 words and include a catchy headline, and quote with the pastor or other key individual. News articles will run for one week only. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spirit FM 90.5 also has a community calendar of events on their website. Submit your events on their website: http://www.spiritfm905.com/Calendar.
To Reach the News Media
- Decide what stories might be newsworthy. Often local events, milestones, and human interest stories are interesting to news outlets.
- Be attentive to news cycles and timely topics that are relevant to community and news organizations.
- Enlist the help of a staff member or volunteer who can write press releases and submit them to parish leadership and diocesan Communications Office for review.
- For a list of local press contacts, please contact Teresa Peterson at email@example.com or at 727-344-1611.
- For assistance contacting the media or writing press releases, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or at 727-344-1611. The Communications Office is the primary source of information on behalf of the Diocese of St. Petersburg about diocesan events, news, and announcements – both internally and externally. The Communications Office should be consulted before press releases are distributed to local media and when a media representative contacts a local parish, school or entity with an inquiry.
- Many newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and websites publish community calendars, a free way to announce your event. Often times you can submit a photo and an event website link. Please keep in mind, many community calendars require a minimum of 30-day advance submissions.