How can Christians effectively speak out through local and national media?
From a blog by The Public Leader
The Public Leader, which is an initiative of the Evangelical Alliance, hold various training events. One of these was on how to speak out through the media. They have published the top ten tips based on advice given by journalists and those who engage with the media.
1. Understand the context and the audience, and adapt your language and attitude accordingly. Is it an informal local radio station with a teenage audience or a high-profile television interview which will be watched by thousands? When speaking to the mainstream media, don’t use Christian jargon that people will not understand.
2. Use buzzwords and slogans. Get people’s attention so that you can then explain your vision in detail.
3. Speak truth with grace. Speak positively and present a better vision for the future.
4. Failing is learning. The key is not to give up but to try again – just because a project, event or interview fails, that does not mean that you are a failure.
5. Put yourself in the editor’s shoes. What would interest the news team you are trying to tell your story to? What are they looking to provide to their audience?
6. Local media is full of opportunities. Befriend your local newspaper journalist/radio presenter/TV broadcaster and investigate what kind of story they are looking for.
7. Be reliable, flexible and available. If you’re not free for an interview, the journalist will go somewhere else to someone who is available.
8. If we want to be people of integrity, we have to get involved. We don’t keep our hands clean by leaving others to get their hands dirty. Compromise is crucial to getting things done, and is not a bad thing.
9. We should treat the media with gentleness and respect.
10. Surround yourself with other people. It is absolutely essential that, as we pursue a journey of public leadership, we surround ourselves with people to pray for, encourage and mentor us. And we need to support others who are also undertaking this journey, so that we can learn and grow together.
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