Planning a Promotional Campaign For a Pastor, Church or Ministry

Ministries have a message they deem necessary to be heard. While word of mouth is always a valued resource for publicity, planning a promotions strategy is not a bad idea.

Why should a pastor, church or ministry plan a promotional campaign?

There are three main reasons or perspective outcomes for initiating promotions:
• To reach your intended audience
• To effectively articulate your message to your target
• To stimulate a specific action by the message being communicated

For a pastor, the intended audience may be the unchurched or non-believer. The promotional campaign will help to convey the proper message in a way most acceptable by this demographic. Ultimately the intent is to draw these persons to visit their church or, even, give their lives to Christ.

You will be able to reach them better if you understand their needs and desires. One can’t assume you know another’s basic wishes, so you must open the lines of dialogue. Get out into the community and explore the deficits of the neighborhood. Talk to people. Run ideas by them. Take an active interest in their lives.

Recognize that every community is comprised of multiple small groups. These groups have leaders and decision makers. Develop a relationship with them and work together to bring about real change.

Next, make decisions about what communication channels will be used. For ministry, speaking with people face to face is best. The use of social media networks is a great way to talk to young adults and youth. A lot of ministries advertise in faith-based publications. But if you really want to reach the unchurched, check out local secular publications.

Ministries have a message they deem necessary to be heard. While word of mouth is always a valued resource for publicity, planning a promotions strategy is not a bad idea.

In ministry, setting objectives and goals is key. Philippians 3:13-14 reminds us, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” We all have a common call to fulfill the will of Christ. But each pastor has distinct objectives for their personal ministry that is an integral part of their promotional campaign.

Promotional goals should be temporal. One must attempt to determine how their promotions will affect their audience on a short term and long term bases. A promotional message that is good for today’s generation may not work in a couple of years. But also your ministry message and tactics change. So, your awareness campaign must be something that can be measured and appropriate for the many seasons of God.

The next big decision is where you will post your promotional message. There are lots of choices:
• Local radio
• Billboards
• Newspaper
• Magazine ad
• Basic cable television programming
• Facebook
• Blog

How do you decide? It would be nice if you could dedicate a little of your budget to be in all places. But you must consider where your audience is and make your ministry visible there.

Ministries have a message they deem necessary to be heard. While word of mouth is always a valued resource for publicity, planning a promotions strategy is not a bad idea.

The proper promotional message must be developed. When repping Jesus, the message is clear. But every ministry has a different style and method for spreading the Gospel. At first, the promotional message may seem like a no brainer but there are many components to consider. The content, appeal, structure, format, and source of the message are all important.

Now for the best part – the budget. We all know salvation is free but ministry takes money. Ideally a budget will be determined and followed. Is this a local campaign or national? Break down the cost per territory. Then consider the mix elements for each. Billboards in Detroit may cost more than in Kansas City. Decide which sections of the campaign require the most financial obligation. After evaluating affordability, percent of sales, and competitive parity, one might get a better idea on gauging the success potential of your campaign.

An integral part of any good plan is evaluation of effectiveness and re-execution. How did the actual performance measure up to planned objectives? When the visitors start to flood your church porch, ask them how they heard about you. This will give you a good over of which tools are working best.

To promote means to elevate. The Bible makes countless charges to elevate or magnify the Lord. Keep God at the forefront of your promotional campaign, and everything will be great.

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