32 simple public relations moves that'll make your
Why are there more than 122,000 public relations specialists in
America? Because bad news travels fast and lingers longer, while
good news is rarely heard above the din of bad news.
Politicians and corporate presidents understand that it's critical
for their image-building to shout good news year-round. In the same
way, good public relations is your key to helping people inside and
outside your church understand your ministry's vision and
strengths. What you do internally to create a positive image for
your children's ministry can make or break your children's
ministry, in good and especially bad times.
Like it or not, you have a public that demands you feed it good
news. Your public, of course, starts with children, parents, and
teachers, then extends to your church staff, congregation, and
The following are 32 practical internal public relations
strategies that are as simple as they are effective.
1. Publish your good news. Sometimes people don't know
what to think about your ministry because you don't tell them.
There's nothing like the printed word to establish an impression of
your progress. Don't forget that newsletters can be emailed as well
as mailed. And they can be handed out after class or put in your
2. Deliver more than you promise. It helps to publicize
events, but make sure your results speak louder than your
3. Celebrate every success. Did you tell anyone and
everyone about the stories that brought tears to your eyes at the
mother-daughter retreat? Go ahead and make them tear up, too!
4. Share your stories with "megaphone members." There's
always someone in your church who's the first to know everything.
Rather than hide news from these amplified voices, take them to
breakfast once a month to fill them in on your secret successes.
They'll love the insider information, and you'll find that your
stories will become legend as they're repeated throughout your
5. Attend the right meetings. Do you attend your church's
board meetings or staff meetings? Make sure you're present when
your ministry is evaluated and your goals are set or assessed.
Remember, don't wait to react to questions; be proactive and share
6. Make the good better. Yesterday's fully staffed
nursery can quickly become tomorrow's no-show Sunday if you're
spending your time putting out fires rather than nurturing success.
I love what Peter Drucker has stated for any newcomer to ministry:
"Do what needs to be done first, then do what you want to do." You
must fix problems before you set goals.
7. Change the wattage of your light bulbs. Making your
ministry brighter can be as simple as changing light bulbs. Use
fluorescent bulbs wherever you can since they distribute light
8. Change a stinky diaper in the nursery. Once, when I
walked into a nursery to encourage the volunteers, I noticed
something terribly wrong. One of the toddlers needed to be changed
in a hurry. By picking up that child and spending the time to
change the diaper, I unwittingly became a legend among the nursery
staff. They knew instantly that I appreciated what they did and I
understood how hard it was to do it.
9. Create PowerPoint presentations for your board, staff, or
church. If you don't know how to use PowerPoint, enlist those
who can to create a compelling media display that correlates with
10. Put your message in many mouths. For you to stand at
the pulpit and make the announcement that the 2-year-old department
needs volunteers creates a glaze across the audience that rivals
anything Krispy Kreme doughnuts could create. Instead, have one of
your nursery volunteers share a story of how his or her life has
been enriched because of spending time with a young child.
11. Win your critics. In fact, take your biggest critic
to Starbucks and ask for advice. For extra credit, bring a notepad
and take notes.
12. Let your light shine. Stand in your church lobby at
the conclusion of each service to smile and say goodbye to people.
Greet everyone by his or her first name.
13. Be there for people. Attend every funeral at your
church. Greet the family, and don't sit in the back.
14. Don't play hooky. Attend at least one church service
each Sunday. It'll do your heart good, too. Attend with your family
and sit together. For extra credit, sit together toward the
15. Cover the basics. Fill out a regular attendee card
and put it in the offering plate. It's amazing to me that even the
office staff loves you if you aren't above the tasks you ask others