Paid Advertising Vs. Free Publicity

Paid Advertising Vs. Free Publicity
By George M. D. Frink


The use of paid advertising to promote events often gets quite expensive. You are competing with a professional entertainment world that has a large part of their income devoted to first-class promotion. To make your display ad attract the eye of the reader you must be willing to:

* Buy enough space to tell your story
* Buy enough space to draw the eye to your ad
* Design a tasteful ad that reflects your church well
* Advertise at a time that finds the audience you want
* Use the Lord’s money wisely

Display advertising is an art unto itself. If you are a good graphic artist and have a good eye for proportion and design, then you might try your hand at taking camera-ready art to the newspaper. If you do not qualify as such, then the newspaper will be glad to design your ad and set the type for you. You should have some idea of what you want. A rough sketch will help them design your ad to your liking.

Work well in advance with the display advertising department for best results. It takes time to design an ad, select or draw artwork, set the type, and then make whatever adjustments you might request. You do have the right to ask for a proof or a redesigning of an ad before it is run. Each of these things, though, will add at least a day or more to the lead time required the get the ad press ready. Too many changes not only cause delays, but you may lose the cooperation of the ad department.

If you are new in placing display advertising, you might be accepting of what you get this time and address your experience to the next ad rather than change this one.

Placing spots on television is even more expensive, but you may find that a prime time for you is a low-priced time for the station. Some stations have one of their lowest rates on Sunday morning, but this might be a great time for you. Talk to your television sales representative about package rates. Most radio stations have some sort of deals that become more affordable as the number of spots goes up.



Some of the things you do will excite the media to the point that they will call you for additional information. Be courteous and readily supply them with what they ask for. It is possible that they may show up at your program with flash bulbs or video cameras. These are some of the things that inviting the public to your happening can bring about. It is somewhat disconcerting to suddenly see a camera out of the corner of your eye when you’re about to bring in the choir on their first entrance. Don’t forget, though, that you more or less invited this very action on their part.

The payoff is to see a picture of your program in print, thus bringing some extra publicity for your group. Your Christmas or Easter program in color on the front page does lots of good things to promote your church in general. Bear up bravely when the flash bulbs begin to go off.

This article “Paid Advertising vs. Free Publicity” written by George M.D. Frink is excerpted from his book Publicity.

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.”