Bryson Powers


A vital part of any church. This ministry makes the community aware of all that is going on at Christian Life Center. Advertising in the proper way can be very effective. Learn how you can do your own work in advertising in a professional way.

Advertising for Your Local Church

Deuteronomy 32:3 “I will publish the name of the Lord…”

Luke 8:39 Of the Demonic of Gadarenes, “And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.”

Advertising and news releases are important ways to reach your city with a message of “We are located here and offer you the following.” Christian Life Center has seen hundreds come out to an event through an appropriate ad or story in the local paper. These special ads and stories coupled with the weekly ad on the “Religion” page of our local paper has established widespread recognition throughout the city and community. Other avenues of promotion are available such as billboards, bus-benches, buses, posters, radio and handbills given out to the public.

Probably one of the most effective advertising methods used by Christian Life Center was the printing of a tabloid type newspaper of eight pages filled with testimonies and information.
This tabloid was then mailed by a commercial firm to over 50,000 residences for a surprisingly small postage rate. Provided in the Pastor-Layman handbook is some valuable help and hints from the local newspaper which will aid the person responsible for your church advertising and news.

Welcome To the News Business

Now that you are the information officer for your company, agency or organization, or the publicity chairman for your club or league, or the public relations person for an institution, we want to help make your job easier. We hope your experience will be not only rewarding but also fun. This booklet has been written to encourage your participation in the news gathering process.

A fundamental role of any daily newspaper is strengthening the ties that bind the city or town. We want you to join us in letting our readers know what is going on, what is new and what is interesting. This booklet is designed to answer some fundamental questions, such as what is a newspaper, what is news, and what it looks like, who are the news people at the Record, how to keep editors happy, information about pictures, myths about the news, specialized news and reader-access to the news columns. The Stockton Record hopes you will find the booklet helpful in the months and years ahead.

What Is A Newspaper?

The Stockton Record is a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc., of Rochester, N.Y., but all decisions about news and editorial content are made in Stockton by Stockton area residents to serve our readers. A newspaper serves as a major communication vehicle for the community. Our mission is to report local news, business news, sports information, notifications, etc.

What do you as a reader have a right to expect in your Stockton Record?

1. The newspaper should reflect and encourage a sense of community for its readers. Our pages reflect the lifestyles, views and problems of people in Stockton and San Joaquin.
2. That is why the Record prints obituaries, 50th wedding anniversaries, wedding, engagements, lists of births and information about what clubs and other organizations are doing.
3. A newspaper should be both exciting and entertaining.
4. A newspaper should be the source of basic information that readers want for any number of reasons.
5. A newspaper should attempt to provide the basic information that consumers need to make buying decisions-both in its news columns and advertising columns.
6. A newspaper is a written document of the day’s events – a living textbook.
7. The newspaper is a primary link between people and government and a watchdog over government, a guardian of individual liberty.

What is News?

If you’re a good publicist, you think the information about your club or organization is just about the most important thing in the world that day. That’s the way it should be. Our reports feel that way about the stories they work on. Unfortunately, our reporters’ news and everyone else’s news are competing for newspaper space and for public attention.

News isn’t…

1. News is not material to be clipped and saved for a club’s publicity scrapbook contest.
2. News isn’t a calendar for members of private organizations.
3. News isn’t information organized to make someone want to buy something; that’s advertising. Newspapers sell advertising and news is never sold.

News is…

1. News is new. The news information you send to the Record should not be more than 24 hours old.
2. News is interesting to a reasonably large number of people. The opening of a new building, for example, is probably more interesting than the 10th appearance of a speaker before a local club.
3. News is public. An activity open to the public is more attractive to newspaper readers than one that is limited to members.
4. News is important. The election of the mayor is more important and will receive more space than the election of your club president.
5. News is people. Most readers find the activities and thoughts of people more interesting than the establishment of a program.
6. News is local. Did someone from Stockton win the state oratorical competition?

Very few stories meet all six of these requirements. But the closer you come to the ideal, the better your chances in the competition for space in the newspaper.

What does news look like?

News is often submitted to the Record by telephone and that may cause a problem from the beginning. Often the newsroom people who field telephone calls are not the same ones who make decisions about what news gets into the paper. To make sure your news story gets a good chance to be published write it out in the form of a press release. Here’s what we need to know in your press release.

* WHO is involved?
* WHAT has happened or will happen?
* WHERE did this occur or will it?
* WHEN did it occur or will it?
* WHY is this newsworthy?
* HOW does this affect your group?

The anatomy of a news release.

The news itself ought to be presented to the newsroom in written form, preferably typed (double spaced) or of least written or printed so it is easily legible. A news release should include:

1. The name, address and telephone number of the person submitting the information.
2. Answer the traditional news questions: who, what, when, where and how. Be specific at every point. What is the address of the building where the event will be held? Is the speaker Mrs. Pat Smith, Patricia Smith, Mrs. Patricia Smith, or Ms. Patricia Smith? Is ‘Friday’ April 3 or April 10? What time does the event start? Leave nothing to guesswork.
3. Don’t abbreviate anything. The ‘ABC Club’ may be dear to your heart, but one of our editors may never have heard of it.
4. Write/type only on one side of a sheet of paper.
5. If you are able to type, leave wide margins and double space.
6. If your news deals with an event, indicate whether it’s public and whether fees will be charged. If fees are charged, what are they?
7. Don’t submit a carbon copy of a news release sent to someone else.
8. After you have written your news release try to deliver it in person. You may mail it to the attention of the city editor, but a personal visit will give the news people a chance to ask questions.
9. GIVE US A TWO WEEK ADVANCE ON THE EVENT. We might like to cover the event and must know about it in plenty of time in order to schedule a reporter to cover it.

Examples of news releases.
Good news release.

Notice that the typing is neat and double spaced and ample margins have been left on both sides.

FROM: Office of Public Relations
University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95211
Richard Doty, News Bureau Director (209) 946-2311


November 21, 1981

John Muir, Hetch Hetchy Exhibit at UOP
Stockton ‘John Muir and the Battle for Hetch Hetchy` is the title of an exhibit now on view in the Holt-Atherton Pacific Center for Western Studies at the University of the Pacific.
Photos, original documents, drawings and a painting that are related to the battle over the Hetchy Valley in Yosemite comprise the exhibit.
The display will be open to the public through December 24. The hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the Pacific Center is located in the UOP School of Education building at Kensington Way and Stadium Drive.
Hetch Hetchy, a reservoir which supplies water to San Francisco, was opposed for a development in this manner by Muir, the legendary American conservationist.
A project is currently underway at the Pacific Center to collect and microfilm the total works by Muir. A large portion of his work already is on file at the Pacific Center.

Poor news release

Normally, news releases are never this bad, but we have included all the bad points to make our point. We have indicated what needs to be added.

Editor. Please put this in the paper as soon as possible. And be sure to use it all. The last time, you left out a lot. We needed this for our club scrapbook.
Local 5 of the AB will have an important meeting at the home of John Doe, Tuesday evening. Jane Smith will preside and the guest speaker will be Jim Jones who will speak on the school board’s new program.

Sue Smith is in charge of the program. All members are urged to attend.

Please send a photographer.

Thank you,


RB Smith

The news people.

Decisions about the news are made by editors. They have a heavy workload and a fast pace. They put out the equivalent of a major novel every day, and people like the city editor and life style editors are expected to know about the hundreds of clubs, organizations, agencies and institutions in Stockton alone.

Who should you talk to about your news event?

LOCAL NEWS goes to the city desk, the Life Style department or the sports department. The city desk is responsible for covering news of business, labor, public affairs, police, fire, agriculture and so on. The Life Style department concentrates on news about people, society, clubs and entertainment. The line is often fuzzy and you should feel free, on any story, to ask which department you should deal with. But never try to give your news to both departments.

Some tips for getting your news in the Record.

1. Never give your news story to more than one editor.
2. Don’t hesitate to call the appropriate editor to ask questions or offer news or photo ideas (although we prefer news in written form).


Most newspapers publish two types of photos; portraits and general interest pictures. Portraits are pictures of the faces of people who are in the news. If a dub elects a new president, we would like his or her picture immediately after the election.

The Record prefers to take our own pictures in our studio, but professional or good amateur photos are acceptable as long as the picture is no more than a year old. We prefer black and white pictures. If you are not sure of the quality of the photo bring it to the Record or call the city desk.
Other pictures in the Record are designed to illustrate the news or show an attractive scene. If you have an idea for a photo, discuss it with the appropriate editor.

This article “Advertising” by Bryson Powers was excerpted from: First Annual Pastor – Layman Institute, Stockton, CA. Pastor K. Haney 1984. It may be used for study & research purposes only.