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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.

Top 10 Free (or Inexpensive) Church and Parish Marketing Strategies

Thursday, September 22, 2016
Free, or Inexpensive

A successful church and parish marketing plan and budget will need to incorporate most of the top ten free church marketing strategies if it is to be successful. The top 10 strategies can be free, or at least relatively inexpensive, depending on the church / parish’s present arrangements.

By effectively using the media and the church / parish website, there should be little expense activating these top 10 strategies, especially when the digital option is the primary method used, instead of hardcopies. If it can assumed that the parish has a website, which can be managed by the parish personnel, as well as a front signboard and a good digital camera, then these strategies can be implemented for free or little expense.

The first strategy is in itself free, yet is also reliant upon a number of other key strategies to be implemented successfully – ‘Word of Mouth’.

Top 10 Free Church / Prish Marketing Strategies

1.    Word of Mouth
2.    Quality Preaching, Engaging Liturgies and Active Pastoral Care / Social Justice / Youth Programs
3.    Social Networking Sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube
4.    Professionalism of priests and staff in action and appearance
5.    Church / Parish Website and Blogs
6.    Use of the Media - both traditional and contemporary – including editorial, images  and advertising
7.    Information Sessions - night and day times – including faith / theological education, open days, prayer sessions...
8.    Newsletters and Flyers - digital (hardcopy where needed)
9.    Front Signboard
10.  Cross Information (within the parish e.g including through the school/s)

The number 1 strategy, ‘Word of Mouth’, is dependent on those espousing various views about the church / parish being well informed. To do this, the next 9 strategies have an important role to play.

The church / parish needs:

•    to have a high quality liturgical, prayerful and pastoral life, along with an openness to meet the needs of all parishioners
•    acknowledgement of the place of social media in today’s digital world
•    an easy to use professional website
•    the ability to engage the local media so that the good stories are told to the whole community, and even the negative stories being told with the church's’s professional approach for solutions being seen in a positive light,
•    openness to various visits to the parish
•    the acceptance of the place of the digital flyers and newsletters.

Conclusion

Free key strategies are often the best approaches to marketing your church / parish. When there is a professional website and the parish community has a positive attitude toward the parish and what it offers, along with what the digital age can offer, then a free, or relatively inexpensive, church / parish marketing plan is possible. This approach can also work when the attitude of the community is not as high – however, there may need to be a need for various forms of paid advertising to counteract such negativity. The best church / parish marketing plan would incorporate most of the free top 10 strategies for marketing your church or parish.

 The 'Top 10 Free (or Inexpensive) Church and Parish Marketing Strategies' 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.


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.



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.


The Difficult Media Question During an Interview - a Response

Saturday, July 02, 2016
The difficult, challenging question posed by an interviewer will often occur at a media interview - it needs to be responded to during the interview or shortly afterwards.

The last resort is the, "No comment," response. If time is needed to gain an accurate response, then advise the interviewer that you will find the answer and get back in as reasonable time as possible.

In the Church setting this can be quite a challenge, particularly when church personnel are not experienced to receive such requests or skilled with the necessary response techniques. There is also the inherent fear of damaging the Church's hard earned reputation if the response is incorrect or not given in a credible way.

Below is a suggested response for the Church marketing personnel. This includes:

• Being prepared for the interview and anticipating negative questions
• Interview techniques to assist

* Have an eexperienced expert media / PR advisor working closely with you and your church through these difficult times. These people be church employess or outside consultants.

Be Prepared - A Response Method

• Anticipate the sort of negative questions which might arise and prepare good responses.
• Have your key 3-4 positive points you would like to make.

It may also be necessary to make arrangements with the interviewee prior to the interview, and before the journalist arrives, that the Church Marketing Manager would interject respectfully if the interviewee was getting particularly stressed or confused during the interview. This is particularly necessary if the person being interviewed is a child / student. There is always a duty of care to assist the child firstly and respond to the interviewer only secondly.

Key techniques during the interview when asked a difficult question requiring a response are usually:

1. Acknowledge the weakness (apologize if needed)

2. Agree that plans are afoot to improve the situation

3. Continually revert back to the 3-4 key positive points you want to make.

 

The Serious or Controversial Issue - Interview

Dealing with a serious or controversial issue involves having staff well trained with important interview techniques. These techniques are usually coordinated by the church's authorities who have qualified staff to train urch personnel.

The techniques above would often form the basis for such difficult interviews. These interviews often result from alleged controversial or illegal incidents, involving staff or parishioners.

These days the difficult media question is a stock question of the journalist's profession. There is nothing better for a church's reputation when these questions are responded to well and those being informed through the interview see a professional approach being shown and implemented. Be informed, prepared and skilled with the various interview techniques.

The 'The Difficult Media Question During an Interview - a Response' 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 bookstores.


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