First published on this website in June 2013 and last updated in May 2017
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Here is a case-study approach for churches wanting to write for their local press or take part in something like ‘Thought for today’ on local radio.
The case study in question is a weekly column in a St Albans free newspaper which is written by a team of people from local churches.
The Notes give the guidelines provided by the team leader. These start:
1 Make it local
2 Make it relevant
3 Make it punchy
4 Make an impact.
Contributors only have 250 words so there is no space for wasted phrases.
As a practical exercise, three examples from the author’s contributions are given in full and readers invited to improve them in line with the guidelines.
Here is the link to this item: TN75 - Writing for the media.pdf
Here is a comment I received on this item:
"The Shields Gazette allows 200 words, but a recent page redesign has caused space problems for the '5 minute Sermon' and a recent contributor had his item edited which changed completely the thrust of the article.
It can be a challenge to keep it topical/local/relevant all within 200 words in a way that enables it to be kept back for future weeks. I am so pleased I share the task with a panel of 8 others! Here it is organised through the local Churches Together group.
I've now started to post what has been written on a blog at the end of the weekend, something a colleague writing for the Sunderland Echo also does. Occasionally I get word that someone has found something I've said in it helpful."
Do email me if you have experiences in similar ventures. These notes have been updated in May 2017 with one of the three examples replaced by a more recent one.