Could You Be The #1 Reason Why Christian News Coverage is Dwindling in Local Media(Dallas News)?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garbage- My lovers box by cordero_pastillero

Garbage- My lovers box photo by cordero_pastillero

Last week the Dallas Morning News moved its religion reporters to covering suburban news. However, today their Religion Blog is still up and running. When Christianity Today asked the Bob Mong, the editor why the section was cut in '07. He stated:

In a time of flat revenues, we simply could not generate the advertising to break even on the section," said Bob Mong, editor of The Dallas Morning News. "I don't think any paper in the country tried harder than we did over the years."

So why dropping the two writers who remained? I think a combo of interest and poor ad campaigns on the part of Christian businesses is at hand.

Here in Atlanta Faith and Values is now infused in the Living Section of the AJC. As a Christian and a publicist who specializes in promoting Christians I wonder if local media's decision to cut these sections are reflection on our current society, a paradigm shift in what it means to be a Christian or stinking thinking on the part of the Christian business community?

Even when I look at some of the artists I represent and writers I applaud the ones that get the most media attention and the most buzz from the peanut gallery are artists who are shifting from proclaiming their Christianity. They believe that their base would be broader if they move from calling themselves Christian artists to urban inspirational. It leads me to wonder if Christian singers, playwrights, authors, actors are being on the DL about their faith, then why should the media be responsible for singing their praises. Afterall, don't they automatically and voluntarily opt out of being covered by Christian news now?

Moreover I wonder for those artists seeking PR (pr = print media placement, not public relations/marketing support as they should be seeking) realize that their silence bears the fruit of dwindling PR opportunities.

On the other hand, when I share advertising opportunities to Christian biz friends, clients and colleagues they continue to have a "marketing my ministry should be free/if He builds it they will come" mentality. If God called them to write, act, sing, build a church, pastor a congregation then why should they pay to advertise? Why should they pay for praises to be sung? Why should they shout God's message to as many who have ears to hear?

A few months ago Christian authors registered and attended The Christian Book Expo. Although I had my own misgivings about the project that was unrelated to the outcome of this event. (Let's face it: The AA Author's Pavilion wasn't its downfall.) What concerned me was reading many posts by my author friends, who were disappointed in the turn out--who lived near the area and/or had a significant readership around the area--but did poor if any marketing to alert their readers that they were coming. How can you be upset that noone came to your table when you told no one you would be here?

I am always shocked by events we create at DGP, then to find many of my author buddies do not advertise the events they will participate in or at least contact their readers via blogging or email marketing. I am never shocked, but always floored.

Granted. It is a fine line between being humble and being a shameless promoter. With prayer and hiring marketing pros who share your faith (and I'm not plugging me or Christian Fiction Blog at all: Jean Wynne, Pam Perry, Kathleen Y' Barbo, Robin Ware, Marina Woods, Rebeca Sietz, Don Otiz, Amy Curry, this list goes on) they can help you stay on the right path toward glorifying God in your business. But if we don't market effectively and that includes working alongside your publicity department, publicist, marketing team, street team, and ad execs to ensure that you receive the best coverage. I don't think it's fair to knock Dallas News when the only ads I've seen consistently for months is Fireproof.

I fear if we don't wake up, then another religion that has no problem spending marketing dollars toward promoting their philosophy will shift religion news that is covered.

Your thoughts...


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