I “attended” a webinar with Scott Vaughan www.svministry.com yesterday on the subject of promoting church events. As always Scott had practical stuff to say on the subject. His main point for promoting an event is to follow this formula:
The Right Message to The Right Audience by The Right Method at The Right Time.
A good test he suggested was to ask yourself, “Would I attend this event if someone else was putting it on?” If the answer is “No”, then don’t do the event. He also suggested that you make it fun, know your audience, start on time and finish early, think first class but don’t over do it, and always try to add value by offering a little something extra. This last point reminds me of Seth Godin’s great little book “Free Prize Inside” http://www.sethgodin.com/freeprize/.
Another good point Scott made about “knowing your audience”, was that you can’t move the audience closer to where you are, you need to move closer to where the audience is. Learn their language, understand their hurts and needs, and change the way you do things to win them. I pass by a particular church just about every day. And weekly (or I would suggest weakly) they change the message on their sign. The messages are always those Christian gobbledy-gook sayings (technical term) that are amusing to believers but nonsensical to anyone else. You know, stuff like “God receives knee mail.”
Do churches really think anyone on the outside is going to move closer to attending their church based on these goofy unintelligible sayings? (I think I’m about to get myself in trouble here.) Instead, why not talk to the people in your community, find out what they need, plan something that meets that need, and put that on your sign!