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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.


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.



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.



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