Advertising Ideas for Churches

Advertising Ideas for Churches
By Carl Phillips

Think Yellow

Advertising in the yellow pages continues to be worthwhile medium despite the growing strength of search engine sophistication According to The Kelsey Group, small- and medium-size businesses spend 46% of their ad budgets on yellow-pages marketing, and just 3% on search-engine keywords.

When it comes to finding your church, many will turn to the local phone book. Are you listed? Is your information correct? Have you considered purchasing a small display ad that gives people a little extra taste of what your church is all about? Yellow page advertising is relatively inexpensive and it is also a great way to reach the out-of-town guests and newcomers to the area.


Ad Slogans Lost in Translation

“It takes a sexually aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.” – Purdue Farms

“Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” – Pepsi

“Suffer from diarrhea.” – Coors

These are just a few of the mistranslated ad slogans from mega campaigns over the years. Perhaps you have heard them in their intended form…
Continue reading “Ad Slogans Lost in Translation”


God Can’t Come to the Phone Right Now

In 55% of Protestant churches a human does not answer the phone.

In 19% of Protestant churches the phone goes unanswered, either by a person or a machine.

Ouch. If someone calls your church looking for service times, a good youth group, or God, what will they find? Maybe having a person answer the phone 24/7 is unrealistic, but does your church at least ma e basic information available on voice mail? Giving Sunday morning service times, basic directions, and a welcoming message are a must, and it wouldn’t hurt to throw out a web site for more info. And we shouldn’t have to tell you to return those calls. (Source: The Barna Group, January 26, 2004)


It’s Your Church, Now Act Like It

The building where I work is two miles from the Heart of downtown Los Angeles, and from the windows in my office, I can see the entire city skyline. This is especially unimpressive after living in the Chicago area and being to New York City on many occasions, not to mention several other large cities around the world. Los Angeles just doesn’t compare to the grandness of urban planning like most of the world cities in its class. This is not a new frustration; many have opined for many years on this issue.

My reaction to the criticism of downtown Los Angles was met with a mixture of anticipation and exhilaration. Old buildings are being renovated into apartments, once famous hotels are now upscale condos. Los Angeles is on the path to becoming…

That’s just it; what is it becoming? In a city “wannabe” and “just like” are the modus operandi for a culture drowning in its own self interest, what will a new downtown really do?

I think we’re too busy trying to be something we are not.

When it comes to telling others about your church, what are you saying? Do you tell people what you wish your church would be? Do you tell people what they wish your church would be? When will the tag line on your bulletin actually reflect what your church is about? If your church regularly has a special anointing for the Holy Spirit to move – with all its messiness and uncomfortable spirituality – quit toning it down to reach someone who won’t understand. People know genuineness when they see it. If your church does drama and media presentations really well, but people are not responding, quit wasting precious resources on methods that might not work for your church. Just because you can get a good deal on a video projector with cool vignettes to show in your services, doesn’t mean more people will respond.

Be who you are. Let the church be who it should be. And don’t try and promote the church until you’ve figured that out. KFC recently learned this same lesson and it would behoove you to do the same.

As for me, I’m going to continue watching out my window as Los Angeles learns an expensive lesson in becoming and being something it is not.


Church Signs Made Easy

Now you can generate your own staple of Americana with the online Church Sign Generator. The site even offers photos of the real thing with such witty, crowd-drawing sayings as “Do You Smell Like Jesus?” and “Stop Drop and Roll Doesn’t Work in Hell.”

What’s up with the sometimes clever, sometimes copycat, usually groan-inducing slogans of Christian T-shirts, bumper stickers and church signs? If it’s annoying in the commercial world, it might not be a good idea for the church either (telemarketers for Jesus, anyone?). Short, witty phrases may be the bread and butter of the advertising world, but they’re also trite and limiting. No form of marketing can effectively deliver the Gospel, but what kind of a glimpse of God should we offer on our church signs? Or bumper stickers, T-Shirts, postcards, newspaper ads, etc. ? (link via Nick

George Barna and the Fat Man

In a recent interview with church research guru George Barna, staff writer for Pentecostal Evangel, Isaac Olivarez, asks a handful of boring questions that probably engaged the senses of Barna as much as rice cakes in front of a fat man. Thankfully, a few of Barna’s answers went beyond the interview questions. If for a minute we think the future of the church is a prayer or prophecy away from where we want it, we must understand that the culture of today is the foundation for the church of tomorrow. Scared?


Establishing a Visitor Philosophy

I love well-written pieces. The article by Michael V. Copeland, in the July issue of Business 2.0 titled “Best Buy’s Selling Machine,” is one of the best company write-ups I’ve read in a while. From start to finish I couldn’t put it down. Even the ending had my hopes escalating toward a conclusion that left me smiling.

The whole point of the article was about how Best Buy uses “Blue Shirts” to sell (and up-sell) their electronics, computers, and appliances. These “Blue Shirts” are the men and women who come to work everyday motivated to be the best: in their city, district, and country. Of course, “best” is measured by sales, but surprisingly, none of the “Blue Shirts” are on commission like much of the competition is. That’s right, no increased paycheck because they sold you a better video camera. Although Best Buy does use other incentives (food coupons for local restaurants, discounts for company stock, etc.), the reality is that these kids, and most of them are, sell because of something running through their blood. They believe in what they’re doing. They enjoy teamwork. They view other Best Buy stores as competition. Everyone else is the enemy. Wow, people motivated by something other than just money?

Perhaps the highlight of the article was Best Buy ‘s formula for success. They have training manuals for nearly everything, including how to respond to every situation, objection or opportunity that could happen in a typical day. The sales mantra that “Blue Shirts” live by is called C.A.R.E. Plus:

Contact (approach the customer)

Ask (engage the customer)

Recommend (suggest solutions or better alternatives)

Encourage (stroke the customer’s ego)

How could you apply this philosophy to your church? Could your greeting team actually have a “CARE” plan when new visitors encounter your church?