A FRESH APPROACH TO CHURCH NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING
By: Robert C. Screen
Let’s say that your church Communication’s Committee has been talking about newspaper advertising. They want to encourage young families who ale not attending church to visit your church. And let’s say you have a meaningful program for both children and parents and you can handle a larger group.
You haven’t been happy with the way the church has used newspaper advertising in the past. You decide to look for a fresh approach.
At the bottom of this is one suggestion on how you might use your local newspaper to help reach the parents of young families in your community.
There are several things that help make this a good ad.
1. It does a good job of getting the attention of the desired audience by focusing on the safety of a child, a subject of primary concern to all parents.
2. It turns the reader’s attention into interest by featuring one local family’s feelings about participating in church activities.
3. It moves from creating interest to stimulating desire by showing how participating in church activities as a family can help parents do what they want to do: stay closer together as a family.
4. The ad encourages the leader to take specific action: to visit the church next Sunday.
5. Finally, the ad communicates in language familiar to the unchurched.
Here are some additional suggestions for making your church advertising effective:
* Repeat the ad once a week (on Saturday if possible) for at least four consecutive weeks and preferably longer. Repetition is important to increase awareness of your church among the people you are trying to
leach, and to motivate them to act.
* Don’t place the ad on the “church page.” Ask the newspaper to place the ad in a prominent place in the local family news or general news section. Suggest an outside position (instead of the inside or “gutter”)
and near the top of the page.
* Select the newspaper that reaches the most homes in your community at the lowest cost to you. This would usually be the local community newspaper.
* If your budget for advertising is small use a smaller ad and still repeat the same ad for several consecutive weeks.
* If you have a regular mailing to your church family, reprint the ad in the mailing and ask members to be alert for opportunities to invite young families they know to come to church with them.
* Be alert for new families visiting your church and go out of your way to make them feel welcome.
Designing an advertising program for your church involves more than designing one ad. Develop a strategy that places an ad in your local community newspaper each week throughout the year. Develop 10 to 12
different ads on different subjects and rotate them, so that each ad runs 4 or 5 times during the year. Use your newspaper ads every week as one way to inform the people in your community of your church’s desire
to reach out in love to them and to meet their needs.
LAST SUNDAY MORNING AT 8:45 STEVEN SCREEN LEFT HOME!
Photo of child on tricycle inserted here:
It wasn’t the first time. It happens almost every week.
You see, Steven spends Sunday morning with about 20 other kids his age at the La Canada Presbyterian Church. His parents don’t let Steven go off by himself. They take him.
Steven loves every minute of it. And his mom and dad love it too. Not just because of the way Steven is growing. But because of the way the church helps the whole family stay closer together.
Maybe you should think about leaving home next Sunday morning! If you do, bring the whole family.
Sunday Morning Worship 9:00 and 10:30
Sunday School 9:30
Youth Discovery Hour 10:30
Adult Education Classes 9:00 and 10:30
(The above material appeared in Church Growth America.)
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