I use a process for every ministry event we have at Aboite Lutheran Church, big or small. Using these steps have helped me prioritize and “streamline” my work, so I thought it might help others doing similar work.
First, brainstorm (with whomever is necessary) where the word should get out for said event. Ask the following questions:
- Who do we want to see our marketing? Members or non members?
- Where do we want them to see our marketing?
- How do we want them to respond to our marketing?
- What media forms are available for us? Also: What media forms could be available to us?
And so on and so forth. After a similar session to the one above, we determined that we want every event to reach people on these levels:
- Announcement slides in church during and between services.
- An email.
- A mailer, 1/4 or 1/2 sheet (either full church, partial church, or mass).
- A page and banner on the website.
- A poster for members to use to promote the event themselves.
- A 1/4 sheet invite card for members to hand out to a friend.
This list is numbered for two reasons. First, I see them as a step-by-step for marketing an event. Secondly, I see them as a loose hierarchy of effectiveness. Announcements are most effective, by far, when coupled with a vocal announcement during the church service. If our community pastor andour teaching pastor talk about it, it’s bound to see results.
The invite card at the bottom, some would say, deserves to be closer to the top. After all, first hand promotions are worth more than anything money can buy, right? Well, probably. I have only recently added this to my protocol so I can’t speak to this one as much as the others (same with #5).
Tips for Using Your Marketing Materials
Make the files easy to find. In other words, organize your storage (whether it is server space or otherwise) and make it public to whomever may need to get a hold of them in a crunch. The absolute worstthing you can do is make yourself necessary for your work to be used. Make it available; you will thank yourself for it later. Literally walk them through the process of looking up files to find what they need. I know, it may make you cringe to think of someone shuffling through your files. Make it easier for them. Stick a folder somewhere obvious that gives them exactly what they need and nothing else.
An important part of making your files available is making editable anything which can be made editable. Recently I put together an announcement slide for a Wednesday night vesper service and saved everything flat on the .jpg right out of Photoshop. But (go figure) some of the information needed to change early Sunday morning. Luckily I was there to change it, but I’m assuming not everyone wants to be available every Sunday morning “just in case.” Instead, save the final announcement as a PPT slide file with the image inserted and a text box (with the info you know) filled in. This way, again “just in case”, whoever is in charge can jump in and change what needs to be changed.
Do it all at once. It’s so much easier to deal with a project at a time (although
sometimes that’s impossible) and being able to stand up at the end of the day with the events needs laid out in front of you – well, it’s a great feeling.
I hope some of these thoughts are helpful to someone else. It has been good for me to discover them in the past year or so. Thoughts? In particular – what other things do you do to streamline your workload? Are there any mediums that you would add to my numbered list above?