When Jesus gave his disciples the Acts 1:8 evangelism mandate regarding “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth,” he laid out a plan to saturate the globe with the gospel. Learn and model your faith first in your “Jerusalem,” he taught – even as Jesus himself did in Galilee – and then launch out further, incrementally.
Each of the Acts 1:8 geographic locations has a marketing and public relations strategy parallel for every stakeholder group related to your ministry, whether donors, personnel or partnerships, but especially for the news media. As you create a media relations strategy for your organization, you can be effective in each zone. But it starts in your “Jerusalem.” You need to own it and never let it go.
In your media relations “Jerusalem,” first secure solid relationships with local Christian and secular media, particularly with those that cover your ministry niche, whether that’s outreach to the homeless, crisis pregnancy, children or women’s issues, etc. If your ministry is national or international, your media “Jerusalem” also will include national Christian media.
“Judea” represents a broader media spectrum. As your ministry grows, the spheres of influence you will want to affect will include secular media in your state or region and national, secular media that covers the religion beat. This “Judea” approach through secular media might be the best way to reach potential supporters among the larger, but still related populace.
“Samaria” represents the general, national secular media – a mixture of all media types. Most media strategies want to start there with national television shows and print publications. National exposure can certainly be good, but it rarely happens immediately. Media is a self-feeding machine. The larger media outlets monitor the smaller media outlets for story ideas. That’s even more reason to have a solid Jerusalem strategy.
Occasionally, there may be a reason for your media message to reach the “ends of the earth.” The Ebola crisis recently launched several ministries we work with into the world of international media.
Though rare and unpredictable, your organization periodically may also have a “Macedonian call” media relations opportunity or issue that presents itself out of the blue, stretching your media strategy. Be sure and heed those calls, as they can be divine appointments.
If you have questions or insights about this topic or other faith-based communications issues, please complete the “Contact” form located on our web site. We’d love to hear from you.