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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.

Photos - Key to a Successful Church Marketing / Communications Plan

Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Photographic images are the basis of any successful church marketing / communications plan. The more relevant and appealing the better! Remember - 'a picture tells a thousand words'!!!

How often have you been inspired by a photo or image? The higher the content relevance of the image the greater the success should be. In any church marketing campaign it is the relevance of each component, which will decide the campaign's success. One poor choice can turn that campaign into a flop. A poorly chosen photo / image can lead to the viewer ignoring or not seeing the message on the one extreme, to being totally against the whole message on the other extreme.

The quality of the image is also important, yet this would also depend on the artistic use of it. Most often a quality photo of the chosen subject is necessary for success. Yet, sometimes a poorer quality, or artistically enhanced, image may be quite appealing in a specific circumstance. The product and demographic of the campaign would decide this.

The digital camera has opened up a whole new world for most people. The quality of many of these digital cameras is quite extraordinary now. The raw photo is often quite good, however add to this the qualities that software, such as Photoshop can add, and a whole new world opens up to even the least qualified photographer.

Of course, quality DSLR cameras, associated lenses, lighting apparatus and software such as Photoshop, will lead to considerably higher quality images in the hands of a photographer of merit. The marketing campaign will dictate the quality of image required.

Even the basic editing tools included with most Windows, Apple and Android products can enhance an image. Often all that is needed is a little cropping or light adjustment.

The smart phone supporting a large enough camera these days can become a part of a successful marketing plan. A smart phone with the appropriate apps downloaded will allow various images to take on that 'Wow' factor.

The digital camera allows for a large number of photos to be taken. Don't be a miser here. You will find that some photos work for you while others won't. Hence, the more you take, the more chance of that 'magic' shot. In time you will develop an appreciation of the number of shots needed to achieve your aim.
The moving video image also has a place to play. The photo image is more often used within a video for special effect.

The photo image is a key component of any successful marketing campaign within so many common media. When an image is used effectively it grabs the attention of the viewer and makes them take note. Use it well and that 'thousand words' will become part of your marketing campaign.

The 'Photos - Key to a Successful Church Marketing / Communications Plan' 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.


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.

God can’t be found in the computer screen, even less in the smart phone - just look skyward!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

As I looked skywards, for the first time in a long time, while sitting on the seashore on a bright full moon evening, it dawned very clearly on me, that God is so much more than can be found on a computer screen, or in a smart phone – as found in the digital world, found locked up in cyberspace.

We cannot lock God up. This is what the digital age actually does, whether deliberately or otherwise.

I came to the realisation, while looking towards the sky this evening, seeing the three levels of cloud, seeing the moon in all its glory on this full moon evening, seeing the awesomeness of nature at her best, that our concentration on that small computer screen, on a blinkered reality, diminishes the reality of the awesomeness of our God.

We become unintentionally closed to this reality of God – closed to God.

The small screen encourages small thinking – a small intellectualisation of the reality of God. Over time, we seem to believe consciously or subconsciously, that the reality of containment, as espoused by, or through, the computer screen, is actually real! It is NOT!

Not only small thinking becomes somewhat the norm, but small imagining, small emotionalising, small acceptance of the inherent, closeness of God, who is yet still way beyond our normal everyday actualities, becomes closed, becomes digitalised.

Imagine an existence where our imagination becomes locked inside a computer, or locked inside our own brain, which believes the digitalised world is real, hence becoming for all intent and purpose, an actually believed existence inside a computer - becomes digitalised i.e. becomes other computer worldly – yet still very real for the viewer of that computer screen.

Even greater disbelief for someone within the real world, would be seeing someone who is locked, by virtue of that person’s cyber-world reality, away from any real human emotion. That person is becoming more computer-emotional.

Becoming more one emotionally with the digital world and less one with the human world!

Wonderful human experiences within the real natural world can inspire anyone, even one within the emotionally and intellectually fraught cyber-world closed in realism, to see the reality of a very special God within our human existence.

More moon beams and sun beams are needed to figuratively shine on to the computer screen – to awaken the reality of the one behind these beams. The softness of the moonbeam and the strength of the sunbeam see our God in true action within this world.

 The 'God can’t be found in the computer screen, even less in the smart phone – just look skywards!' 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 

 

 


Australian Catholic Media Conference 2012 - a summary of key points for the digital age

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The main points I gained from the Australian Catholic Media Conference 2012 were:

* we, the Church (and its institutions) need a strong loving presence in the digital world

* get the Catholic / Christian message out there

* be gentle and compassionate in your approach - use Jesus as your model

* tell your story, Jesus story and the Church's story - people love stories

* use blogs and social media, particularly You Tube, Facebook and Twitter - take the risk, yet have 'conditions of use' whereby you may cancel inappropriate responses

* [link one to the other for maximum output]

* develop well constructed websites and include links to good Catholic websites eg Fr Barron

* include on these websites podcasts, videos, texts, etc., of messages / sermons from key people within the parish [or school]

* support and promote quality mainstream media shows and articles relevant to the message eg ABC

* support and promote authentic social justice websites and activists

* use xt3.com website for youth involvement throughout Australia (from Sydney Archdiocese)

For an overview of the key speakers and a summary of their points go to the blog post at: 'Australian Catholic Media Conference 2012 - an Overview with Links'.

The 'Australian Catholic Media Conference 2012 - a summary of key points for the digital age' 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 



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