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Media Guide

In some regions of the country, it may be unusual to have a church advertise. The ad messages themselves may provoke curiosity or controversy – and media attention. For example, in 2009 an Atheist group purchasing advertising on buses in Calgary challenging the existence of God. This was later countered with an ad campaign by evangelical churches.

In any case, it’s wise to have a media response plan, and a backgrounder to give some context to reporters. You can download these documents from the sidebar.

Media Plan

The popular media is your friend and can bring considerable added value and coverage to your ad campaign if you receive editorial, radio, or TV news coverage of your campaign.

Treat media representatives with respect, and respond to their timetables as best you can.

  • Answer their questions as best you can, in short sentences. Avoid rambling.
  • It’s the media’s job to challenge interview subjects on various assumptions. Sometimes this can feel adversarial – but remember they are just doing their job, and are provoking you to do yours as well.
  • Anticipate the questions in the context of the news environment of the day. Is or has religion or religious issues been in the news locally or regionally recently? How might you respond in light of the news climate of the day? Is there a seasonal link you can make? (For example, the Christmas season is often linked to peace; if your campaign appears around Christmas time, make the obvious linkage in your response).
  • Anticipate and prepare for general questions – most of which should be answered in the Media Backgrounder (download from the sidebar).

Have some “sound bite” responses prepared – for example:

  • Who are you/your congregation? We are a group of Mennonite Christians challenging the militarization of Canada by promoting nonviolent peace building.
  • Why are you doing this? We believe that Jesus calls his followers to be peace builders, and we want to be a part of that..
  • What are you asking people to do? Most people want peace. The debate often occurs on how to acheive peace. We are asking people to consider nonviolent ways of responding to conflict, whether that is among friends and family, neighbours, or countries. We are asking people to advocate with their elected leaders and challenge the status quo, which often tells us that violent, military intervention is the only way to peace.
  • What is a concrete action anyone could take right now? There are many, but let me share two:
    • Without resorting to force or any kind of verbal abuse, exercise every neuron of your imagination to peaceably resolve the next conflict you find yourself in. Explore this site to learn more.
    • Call your elected representative and ask for the establishment of a government Department of Peace, as outlined at Canadian Peace Initiative.
  • Take photos of members of your congregation in front of a billboard or other ad you have sponsored. These will prove to be invaluable promotional tools.
  • Have some promtional items such as t-shirts, toques, or other give-away items made that promote the campaign. These are great momentos for anyone that may choose to visit your church or meeting place.
  • Get familiar with the content of this site.