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Church Marketing Blog

Church marketing personnel need to be up-to-date with the latest church marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the church / parish marketing plan. This church marketing blog enables church marketing personnel to engage in blog discussions relating to the church marketing issues of today. The 'Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

Church Marketing Plan - 5 Key What, Why and How Strategies

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Devising an effective church and parish marketing plan is essential for any successful church and parish community - know what it really is, why it is needed and how to develop and implement one for success - know the 5 Key strategies.

A. Overview

There are a number of crucial aspects which impact on this plan:

Planning
• Manager
• Budget
• Support Structure
• Evaluation


A successful plan is a lot more than the logo, stationery and newsletter. It should also be careful to avoid 'dressing-up' the institution in a way which cannot be supported.

The right person / people, managing the right marketing plan, being given a realistic budget and support and using continual evaluation techniques and feedback are high priorities for a successful marking plan. Often tough decisions need to be made. However, it is absolutely critical to - be well prepared!

Big or small church and parish budgets can both have varying degrees of success. Know your market and its needs and develop plans accordingly:

• A longer term plan often eases that initial budget constraint.
• Success often leads to more success.
• Decision makers become open to more appropriate budgets.

B. Who needs a Marketing Plan?

All professionals, businesses, institutes and services need one. Informing the community is seen by most to be an important aspect of their mission. It also leads to the best promoters of the product / service, etc.

C. Analysis of the Marketing Plan

• Parish Priest ultimately responsible for the plan.
• Based on the Vision and Mission Statement.
• Used to market to the community. The community includes all people who know, or those who you want to know, about the church.
• Strategies used within a defined budget.
• Inform all stakeholders, and other targeted groups, of the benefits and successes.
• Informs about aspects which may be of interest / products, etc.
• Needs to plan for issues which may arise of a controversial nature.
• Inform and emphasize the real nature of the parish and the direction being planned for or presently implementing.
• Realistic budget is an integral part.
• Relatively inexpensive when viewed in the terms of the potential gains made - reputation, etc.
• Benefit from the combination of views of staff and other parishioners, etc, associated.
• In the initial stages of developing the first real plan it is often best to include a variety of interest groups for gaining ideas and suggestions about how best to market. These thoughts may then be used as felt necessary.
• The principal office holder needs input and has the overall responsibility to implement the plan.

D. Be ethical...

Apart from being unethical, more than likely, any unethical aspects would eventually become apparent as being incorrect to the stakeholders and others. This would have an adverse impact on the group's / institute's reputation and hence targeted group and community's involvement.

E. Simple or Complex?

The plan may be as simple or as complex as needed to achieve the desired outcomes. The plan is needed whether:

• a presently has a large sales / product / service base or
• it is about to re/open or
• it is losing market share.

 

The best time to market is when it is successful. At this stage there are so many approaches which may be taken to highlight the benefits. However, it usually becomes an issue and a necessity when sales or numbers involved are dropping, or when competition is opening need by or improving themselves. At this stage a specifically targeted program is required. Don't be caught out!

 

The 'Church Marketing Plan - 5 Key What, Why and How Strategies' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

 and all good internet bookstores.


Word of Mouth - the #1 Strategy for Church and Parish Marketing

Friday, September 09, 2016

Let's keep marketing the church simple. From my experience there are a number of classic and contemporary methods to market your church or parish. These should be at the forefront of any successful church / parish marketing plan. A number of these are free or relatively inexpensive. The number 1 method though is ‘Word of Mouth’ is free!

Now this may seem quite obvious and simple to many, that the number one strategy is word of mouth, unfortunately it can be anything but that. Word of mouth requires the great majority of people to be speaking positively about your parish. This not only includes those directly in the parish community e.g. staff and parishioners, but also those in the wider community who may influence those within and without of the parish. This would include: others directly associated with the parish e.g. suppliers of goods, professionals e.g. those charged with the financial guidance and auditing, architects and engineers of the building plan, people various associations, committes and boards, etc.

Hence, these people need to be fully informed and communicated with, concerning all the events and happenings within the church /parish. This includes the positive and the negative.

Why the negative you may ask? If the church / parish is run effectively it will have policies and procedures to deal with most, if not all, circumstances it may face. When people within and without the parish see that it is dealing with those negative aspects in a professional, caring and effective way, they will more than likely offer their support. For many of these people they will go much further and espouse how wonderful the parish is in the way that it deals with negative issues. This can be a very effective method, overall.

Once this strategy is accepted as the primary means to market a church or parish, it then becomes evident that the next challenge is to select numerous forms of communication and a number of strategies, which are going to be needed for the ‘word of mouth’ strategy to be fully informed and hence, successful.

The 'Word of Mouth - the #1 Strategy for Church and Parish Marketing' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com and all good internet bookstores.



e-Flyer / i-Flyer for Church Marketing

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
e-Flyers / i-Flyers are issued electronically whenever some important news or event is forthcoming. When these appear on the church internet website the term i-Flyer is more accurate. Brevity and presentation is the secret. These should form an integral part of any church / parish marketing plan's strategies.

Theme

A specific theme for each flyer needs to be apparent e.g. Holy Week, Advent / Christmas, Social Justice Programs, Youth Events or Aged Care Developments, etc.
Other themes may be linked from the e/i-flyer, but best not to distract from the main theme. Most of the content and images visible should be based on the main theme.
Be aware that having a general themed flyer to promote the church will often say to the reader that the parish needs more people. Many people react against this.

Frequency

Due to the ease of production and success that these flyers invariably bring, it is important not to overdo the frequency of email-outs and / or website postings. It would be hard to imagine the need for a frequency of less than fortnightly – so that the readers do not develop a blasé approach to the e/i-Flyers.

Purpose

The purpose is to inform the parishioners, potential families and other interested parties of the advantages of your church to the community through its ongoing prayer-life, communal activities and developments.
This should create a positive discussion. The prestige of the parish should be raised or confirmed. Interest should be increased with potential new families to your church and parish.

Distribution Methods

There are two main ways to distribute the flyers:

•   e-Flyers are emailed: from parish or third party production
•   i-Flyer on the church internet website.

Other topics covered in this section in the Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed) 2011 are:
•    Email-outs
•    Production of e-Flyers
•    Email Database
•    i-Flyer Webpage
•    Layout
•    Size of e/i-Flyer
•    Production - including the Offsite Option

The 'e-Flyer / i-Flyer for Church Marketing' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

 and all good internet bookstores.


Church Marketing Plans and Strategies for Marketing the Church by Bryan Foster

Friday, July 29, 2016
Sharing his church marketing plans and strategies for marketing within the Catholic Church for almost 20 years has been a passion for Bryan Foster .

His popular church and school marketing series include:


'Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed)', 2011 as a paperback
'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed)', 2011 as a paperback.

These books published as both paperbacks and e-books add a whole new dimension from his experiences with digital marketing. This is combined with the regular contemporary and traditional school marketing strategies.

These e-books are available from Amazon.com:

Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), 2011

School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed)', 2011

And also from all good internet bookstores.

His leadership roles within the Church include:


•   South Coast Deanery Pastoral Council, Chair
•   St Mary's Parish Pastoral Council, Coomera, Chair
•   Surfers Paradise Parish Pastoral Council, Surfers Paradise, Secretary
•   St Kevin’s School, Parents and Friends Association, Benowa, President.

All of these are on the Gold Coast, Australia. This is arguably the harshest region to 'market' churches in Australia. It is a very secular based city - being the tourist capital of Australia.

His school marketing experience began in the 1980s as a principal in two country primary schools and from 1994 to 2010 in a secondary school. Bryan now markets his publishing company and various marketing and photobooks.


Bryan Foster has held various senior and middle school management positions in Catholic schools: a primary school Principal in two schools, APRE in secondary school and Years 9, 11 and 12 Coordinator.

A highly ethical approach to marketing, and passion for marketing the Catholic school, was formed as a result of his extensive Church experiences, along with Religious Education teaching experience in Catholic primary and secondary schools in the city and country.

He was the Marketing Manager at Aquinas College, a secondary co-educational college on the Gold Coast, in what is arguably the most difficult school marketing region in Australia, since 1994 until last year. He was also the school’s Assistant Principal Religious Education for ten years. Bryan was seconded to Brisbane Catholic Education for the 2008 school year as the Catching Fire: Evangelization and Spiritual Formation Education Officer.

He holds a:
•   Master of Education from the Australian Catholic University in Sydney
•   Bachelor of Education}  
•   Graduate Diploma in Religious Education}
•   Diploma of Teaching} from McAuley Teachers College in Brisbane
•   Diploma of Religious Education from the Institute of Faith Education, Brisbane.

He has taught for over 30 years in Catholic schools from Years 1 to 12.

Bryan has assisted many school marketing coordinators. He is considered highly by Brisbane Catholic Education and throughout the years has assisted their marketing personnel.

Bryan lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. His wife, eldest daughter and son all teach in Catholic primary schools, while his younger daughter attends a Catholic secondary school.

The 'Church Marketing Plans and Strategies for Marketing the Church by Bryan Foster' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed)

, - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining with

GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

and all good internet bookstores.



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