As part of our developing Communication Strategy, Church organisations are encouraged to contact the local media. Getting media coverage of an event can help to:
- Advertise a forthcoming event/ appeal, and so increase attendance/ gain support e.g. to publicise a high status speaker like Archbishop Conti at the Forum.
- Highlight an achievement, in order to raise the profile of the organisation/ Church e.g. being Awarded Eco Church status.
For most local stories, the Southside and Eastwood Extra is a good place to begin.
If you would like to deal with the media yourself (who do actually need local community stories to fill their pages!), then feel free to use the tips below:
- Draft out your story before you make initial contact.
- Always start with the point of the story, not the background e.g. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of local people, Netherlee Church’s BB have just taken delivery of a brand new minibus.
- Make it relevant – the reader will ask: why should I read this? e.g. We’re so grateful to the people of Netherlee and Stamperland, who supported our sponsored car washes and came to our coffee morning to help replace our old bus, which has been providing a vital service to the community for years ,” said X
- Make it personal – the reader will ask: what’s in it for me? eg The minibus will be used to take elderly or frail people to church, and can be hired for other community based activities
- Give further contact details, both in your email to the newspaper (ie name, phone number & mobile number), and in the story itself. eg To book the bus, or make a donation to its upkeep, please phone x
- Use simple, clear language and insert a quote where possible
- Quirky photos can attract attention, especially if the subject is topical or seasonal or is connected with charity. Involve local people, local sights, and avoid huge group photos, line-ups, and the standard ‘handshake’ type shots! Remember to get parental permission if submitting photos of children, and let the paper know you’ve done this. It’s best to use a digital camera, so you can email photos to the paper
- Offering a competition/ prize will always grab attention, particularly if you tie it in with a forthcoming event – eg The Garden Show : offer free entry and a cream tea for two. Not much to pay really, for ‘free’ advertising!
- Once you’ve drafted out your piece, make an initial phone call to the newspaper to say you have a story to email them, giving brief, relevant details. If the event has already taken place, attach a good photo with it.
Remember, The Extra also has a What’s On column, which can list simple details of forthcoming events – but space here is very limited. The deadlines for this are 12 noon on the Friday before the event – but copy received by the previous Thursday would probably have a better chance of being included.
For any potentially sensitive or controversial issues, you’re advised to contact the Session Clerk first for guidance, in advance of speaking to the media.
The Church of Scotland is committed to the highest possible standards of care and protection for our young people. By law, all volunteers working with Netherlee Church organisations require to be Disclosure checked, even if they have previously been checked for other jobs.
To help ensure the welfare of all our Church community, in Netherlee we have a Child Protection Panel consisting of four Church members, each fully checked and trained as child protection co-ordinators and signatories for Disclosure Scotland. This panel carries out the checks and training necessary to appoint volunteers to work with our children and young or vulnerable people.
Before working in any Church organisation, a potential volunteer fills in an application form, giving their personal details and two referees. The referees are then contacted by the Panel, and asked for details on the applicant’s suitability. The applicant completes a ‘Disclosure Scotland’ form and provides various identification documents to the Panel. The applicant also completes a ‘Working with Children Declaration’ where they state if they have ever been excluded from access to children or working with children. Once all the checks are carried out and approved satisfactorily, the volunteer is then approved by the Kirk Session.
The Church of Scotland asks that every children’s worker undergoes a short training session, to inform them about child protection procedures and potential risks to children and leaders alike. When required, our Panel runs a two hour child protection training session open to all helpers, Elders and Church members who would like to attend. Dates are advertised in the Link magazine, and in our Church order of service.
For information on Child Protection, please contact Mike Buchan via the Church Office.
Following recent Presbytery decisions Netherlee will be entering a Deferred Linkage with our neighbouring church Stamperland which will ultimately result in a full union of the 2 parishes. Click here for our joint Parish profile.