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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.



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 


e-Books for Church Marketing Research or for Communication with Parishioners

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

E-books are a great addition for church marketing personnel in the digital age - to offer the detail often lacking in everyday marketing campaigns.

The e-book can be used for research by church marketing people or as a marketing strategy for communication with parishioners. This latter variety may hence be considered as a large e-newsletter.

For research

A high quality e-book would have between 300-400 A4 pages, whereas an average e-book would be a minimum of about 200 A4 pages. Poor e-books would be below 150 pages - unfortunately, too many internet authors fit into this lower category these days, and hence make it difficult for the good authors to be seen as highly creditable in the marketplace. These books would be written with the purpose being to inform the reader in a detailed way of how to achieve whatever the aims were being offered for each church marketing e-book.

For publication

Page numbers are irrelevant if the main purpose is to inform parishioners in more detail about various topics of interest eg. a detailed overview of the year from various perspectives including financial, liturgical, pastoral, doctrinal, social, etc., and including many photos for interest.

e-Books can be continually updated and uploaded to various websites for placing in the internet market. This is a huge advantage over everyday hard-copy textbooks, which usually take many months before publication!

My suggestion for the most successful way to succeed with giving thorough detail in the marketing field is to write the e-book in a summarized point format. This allows for a large variety of topics to be covered. It also allows for the reader not to be overawed by copious amounts of words on each specific point being made. Summarized points are often more easily read and often easier to interpret and understand. The page layout is also far more conducive and attractive and therefore should appeal to more people and hence be more successful overall.

Always remember that a picture (photo) tells a thousand words.

 The marketing e-book is becoming very quickly a necessary marketing tool for the contemporary marketing personnel in today's digital world. The detail it gives can be very successful when combined with an appropriate writing format - particularly the summarized point format.


The 'e-Books for Church Marketing Research or for Communication with Parishioners' 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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