How to Advertise a Church
Advertising a church, fellowship or other house of worship is a great way to let the community know what types of ministries are offered and available to members and friends of the congregation. Depending on the composition of the community, several different approaches can be used to advertise a church effectively and alert people to opportunities for worship and participation in activities that ultimately benefit the wider community. When putting together an effective advertising program for a church, it is important to consider a wide range of networking options that include both print and electronic media as well as social networking strategies.
1 Determine what attributes and features of the church are likely to capture the attention of the public. This may be some belief or aspect of the worship experience that is a normal part of the church’s culture, or programs or upcoming events that may be of interest to the wider community. Knowing specifically what you want to advertise will make it easier to choose the right methods to reach people who are more likely to respond.
2 Evaluate local print media options. Some local papers offer special rates to faith-based organizations that want to run ads for specific events. Local publications sometimes have religion editors who are happy to write a small blurb about a church or some upcoming event. Find out how much these types of ads will cost, as well as what types of free advertising in the form of short articles or community notices can be placed in local and weekly print publications and reach a sector of the community.
3 Create and launch a web site. Many churches today create and maintain web sites that provide information about worship schedules, ministries offered, and upcoming events. Consider including audio or even video links to past sermons or worship services so people can get an idea of how the services are structured. Don’t forget to include the ability for visitors to the site to make contact via email if they have any questions.
4 Use social networking. Creating groups or pages on major social networking sites can be a great way to get in front of people who live in the area and make use of this communication tool regularly. This tool also makes it easy for members to share information about upcoming events with their friends by linking over to the page or group. Many of these social networking sites are free to use, making them ideal for use by non-profit organizations.
5 Encourage word of mouth advertising. Support efforts of members to spread the word about upcoming events that would be of interest to others in the community. Provide simple handouts and brochures that members can leave with friends, and that those friends in turn can pass on to others. This simple approach is often effective over time, enhancing the reputation of the church as being a welcoming and friendly place.
* Include funds for church advertising in every annual church budget. While many strategies can be managed for very little and even no money at all, an organized advertising campaign will require at least a small amount of allocated funds. Review the strategies used each year to determine if there is a need to increase the advertising allocation or create more specific guidelines in how those allotted funds are spent.
* Different advertising methods work better in various settings. Aggressive advertising that works well in a large metropolitan area may be less successful in a close knit rural community. Adjust your efforts to fit in with the culture of the community if you want to attract the right type of attention and be accessible to those who do not presently have any connection with the church.
From: churchtoday.org web site. April 2015.
The above article, “How to Advertise a Church” was written by Don Howard. The article was excerpted from www.churchtoday.org.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”