How to Pitch to 'Patch'

Sybil Davidson

7/15/2013 and other community news sites are an awesome way to let your neighbors know about all the great things going on at your church. I asked Kristi Reed, Patch's community editor for Gwinnett and Northeast Georgia, about how churches can share news and events through their local Patch site.
Patch provides three main (free) services that churches should consider taking advantage of:
1. Create your own news section on your local Patch site.
To create your own news section on Patch, go to the Patch home page for your area and click on the "start blogging" button near the bottom of the page. You'll be asked to do three things:
1. Name your blog. For example: Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church's Blog
2. Describe your blog. For example: News and events from Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church in Dacula, Ga.
3. Choose a blog icon. You can use on of the preset icons or upload your own image.
Once you have done that, click "create your blog" and you'll be taken to a page where you can write your first blog post. Once you create your first post, you'll see it immediately on the home page of the site. From that point forward, any time you log in to Patch, you'll see a "your blogs" menu at the top of the home page. Clicking on the drop down arrow next  to "your blogs" will give you the option to post to your blog.
2. Add an event to our free event calendar.
Go to your local Patch site and look for the "Events" tab near the top of the page. Click on that tab and, on the events page, you'll see this question: "Have a big event coming up?" Next to that question, you'll see a "Post an event" button. Be sure to log in to your free Patch account before posting an event.
3. Post a free announcement.
Have a quick update to share with the community? Look for the green "Post" button on the home page or go to the "Boards" tab at the top of the page. Be sure to sign in to your free Patch account before posting. As with events and blog posts, you can add photos and video to announcements.

And a little more inside scoop: editors routinely go through announcements, events and blogs and feature select ones. So, if you post a blog or announcement, it might also end up in the news section. Regardless, it will immediately appear on the site and will go out in the newsletters.

If there is no Patch in your area, or even if there is, there may be other community news sites that would be interested in sharing news from your church. Just ask!

Now, go share your story!

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