I have a pretty diverse background. This includes a degree in Marketing (as well as Church Ministry). This has caused me to look at church life in a aslightly different perspective than many church members and leaders. The question I answer differently is simple: “Is marketing the church/church events a bad thing?” – only if you do it poorly!
If I am looking to publicize an event in my Youth Ministry, here is the process I take before a dime is spent:
- Who is the event designed to reach?
- How is this event designed to impact the Kingdom of God and bring glory to Him?
- How many people will the venue/facility support?
- Does the info need to primarily reach students or parents (hopefully both…)
- How wide of area is the event to cover?
- Are there other churches involved? (can costs be shared?)
- How much total advertising money is available? How much is needed?
- Is this something that is completely new to the area? (or is it a regularly occurring event?)
Now that the tough questions have been answered, Here are some of the ways that I have used to promote events within youth ministry and in the community. Some are free, some are not. Not every method will work in every ministry setting, so your mileage and exposure may vary…
- Having teens do mass text messaging to their address books – they like to text, and it reaches their friends – WIN!
- Almost every small town has a couple community bulletin boards that EVERYONE reads (you probably already know where they are…), find them and use them!
- Facebook Group or Page (if you don’t know the difference, Tim Schmoyer wrote a good article about it a while back)
- Utilize the church/youth ministry webpage
- Is the church a member of the Chamber of Commerce? There might be resources available there…
- Almost every radio station (not just Christian, …gasp) has a free events calendar they announce on-air. You have to jump through the right hoops to make it happen.
- If your school allows locker fliers, turn the teens loose.
- If you have an active Craigslist in your area, they have an events section.
- Is there a widely read newspaper in your area? Sometimes they will cut a deal for ministries (mostly small towns), sometimes not, but you will never know unless you ask.
- Write a news tip to the local TV stations. Sometimes it works, especially if you are serving others. They might just do a human interest story on it. That can really raise the awareness of the ministry in your community!
What ideas worked for you? Which ones were not as successful? Let me know!