DESIGNING A MASS MAILING “TABLOID” NEWSPAPER
By Richard Community
What would you like the people in your community to think about your church? How would they acquire the desired attitudes if they have never participated in church activities? It’s up to you and your congregation. Your members will be the major force in shaping the impressions the rest of the community has toward your church.
But few people in your congregation see the total picture like you do. Most of the people, when asked about their church, will mention the part of church life that is most meaningful to them. And this will not
necessarily be the area most interesting to someone else. Your member’s view might not accurately express the total perspective.
One way to directly influence the attitudes and opinions of the people in your community is to mail a story of your church life directly to their homes.
First, you will want to determine what you want the community to think about your church. Here are some suggestions. (You’ll :want to add some additional thoughts that express the uniqueness of your church and the particular type of community in which it exists.)
* A friendly place with friendly people
* Very open and accepting of others
* Serving us (the community)
* Caring and loving
* Relevant and meaningful
* Alive, active, happy people
* People I know and respect
An effective format for such communication is the “tabloid” newspaper. Usually four or eight pages in length, a tabloid can provide an overview of the total church program in words and pictures. Here are some
suggestions for creating an effective “tabloid” newspaper for your community:
Write all copy with the unchurched person in mind. They won’t understand religious language and church jargon, and it will probably turn them off.
Use lots of photos; at least 40% of the total space Put a descriptive caption under each photo.
Feature the personal experiences of members whose lives are being touched by God through the church.
Let them tell in their own words, what it means to be a member of the community of faith.
Highlight ministries and programs of the church that would appeal to a large proportion of the readers (children, youth programs, singles ministry, young marrieds, elderly programs, etc.) Especially highlight
these areas in the photos.
Show how the church is serving the community.
Cover every major area of church activity.
Have the pastor write a short column communicating the church’s desire to minister to and serve the needs of people in the community.
Strive to show the relevance and meaning of faith in Jesus Christ to life today.
Here’s what it costs to produce 7000 copies of an 8-page black and white newspaper:
Copyrighting, editing, typing volunteers
Photo processing 15.00
Layout and Artwork volunteers
Typesetting and printing $500
Mailing list cost (6,600 names) $81.25
Postage (non-profit, bulk rate) $175.00
Total Cost $771.25
There are many other ways to influence attitudes and help create a climate in your community that enables your church to become more effective in reaching and serving others. I encourage you to develop a
communications strategy for your church that reaches everyone in your community that God has called you to serve.
Christian Information Network