What Is Publicity?
George M.D. Frink
You may be one of the most talented people in the business and have the greatest music program going. You may also be one of the most timid souls alive about selfpromotion. Our public just doesn’t like the reserve that some of us music directors use in telling what is going on in our music program. “Blowing your own horn” is the way some have described publicity. Others have said, “Well, nobody else is going to do it if you don’t!” They might be right.
The congregation generally appreciates information on an informal basis. How ever, when you promote your program to the general public you are then dealing with professional media and must present information to them on their grounds. Most of what goes on within a church body is not the type of news that commercial newspapers and radio and television stations are looking for. Special programs, guest speakers and singers, and the unusual at your church are generally newsworthy items.
Good promotion has no substitute.
People need to know what kind of program design you have before they can make an intelligent decision to participate. The congregation in a church wants to know about all aspects of a church whether or not they are an active part of the total program. A good music director will keep the people in the church and the general public well informed about the music ministry.
To get such information in print or on the air requires a few simple but necessary steps. What you will find in the paragraphs that follow will not guarantee you a successful publicity campaign, but you will have a much better chance of success if you at least try these guidelines. There are no hard, fast rules, so you have to be ready to adapt as conditions change.
Publicity is a nice word for what the business world calls advertising. We sometime shy away from the term sell insofar as what it is we do in promoting our church, but selling is exactly what we are doing! As directors, the effectiveness of the anthem depends upon how the choir sells the text. The soloist must sell the solo in such as way that it is a new creation on every performance. It is our responsibility to do the best selling job we can in promoting our church’s happenings to the world around us.
Our ultimate aim, of course, is to use whatever means available to bring those outside the four walls of the church under the influence of the Gospel.
There are some things which publicity can do and some things that it can not be expected to accomplish.
* Tell your message effectively
* Inform the world around you about your happening
* Create a desire in people to become a part of your church
* Keep present members interested and excited about what’s going on
* Keep the name of the church in the public eye
Publicity can not
* Bring people to your church door who do not want to come
* Create a new spirit in the church on its own
* Succeed well or be effective unless used regularly and with a plan
There are two primary kinds of publicity
Direct or promotional publicity
This is the type of advertising activity where your primary interest is to promote a specific program or an activity at your church. It can be an announcement of an upcoming event such as a Christmas program, a guest concert artist, or a revival.
General or institutional publicity:
This kind of soft sell tells the community about your church in a very general way. It’s the kind of promotion that is ongoing, and it does not address any specific event. Institutional publicity usually concerns itself with name, place and purpose of the church, and not with any particular special presentations.
Excerpted from ‘PUBLICITY’ ‘The Fine Points of Promoting Your Event’
By George M. D. Frink
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”