Bernadine Whedon Smith of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, does volunteer PR for her Episcopal church and wants to know how to measure the effectiveness of a 2 by 3 ad in local newspapers. She also needs creative ideas on how to promote the church and its new, young, dynamic minister.
From Lois Carter Fay of Marketingwomen.com and Massanutten, Virginia:
“You are most likely to get new church members by targeting your message toward the right demographics. It seems that your demographics might be middle-and upper-income people or college students with a bit of a liberal bent.
“If that’s true, I would take a portion of the advertising dollars and use them for small-space ads in publications for local arts events (like concerts, plays, etc.). Look for an alternative newspaper to both advertise in and provide articles to. And also look at college and university newspapers. The advertising space would be less expensive and more highly targeted, and the smaller newspapers may be looking for interesting community articles.”
From Jacquie Burchard of Great Falls, Montana:
“Start by getting to know the religion editors at local newspapers. Even if theres not a full-time religion editor, theres probably someone who covers religion who is interested in hearing about your “special services” and why they might benefit the church-going public. Talk with that reporterabout their particular interests.
“Keep in mind that most church congregations include a number of interesting, newsworthy stories. The trick is in finding them and presenting them witha great pitch. Speak with the pastor about who might make a good story. And make sure your pastor gets to know the religion reporters in the Philadelphia area as well.”
From Dr. Donna Goldstein of Hollywood, Florida:
“Since many people who come to Unitarian churches are products of homes where parents were of different initial faiths, or are raising kids in a mixed religious home, I think I’d play on that. Ask questions, maybe differen tones, in ads and PR:
“Did you have a Jewish Mother and Catholic Dad?”
“Unclear which religion to raise your kids? Now you don’t have to choose–Unitarians embrace all religions by….”