We’ve talked before about Billy Graham’s marketing man, but how about his publicity man? Larry Ross has covered Billy Graham’s public relations efforts since 1981, and he’ll be especially busy this week as Billy Graham’s New York Crusade begins tonight, which could possibly be his last.
“Jesus always asked, ‘How can I help you?'” Ross says. “Dealing with the mainstream media is all about knowing what they want and figuring out how you can help them get it, which works to your advantage.”
He also advises pastors to, as Newsweek puts it, “seize opportunities such as civic disasters to make themselves available to newspapers and TV stations hungry for commentary,” which sounds like the equivalent of ambulance chasing—but they are Newsweek‘s words, not his. He did say, “There’s a spiritual component to every story,” which is a lesson worth remembering.
Public relations isn’t just for the Billy Grahams of the world. Every church should be trying to get free promotion in the local press, whether it’s the local neighborhood paper or the local TV news. (link via Wes Halula)