Friday, February 20, 2009

Question to the Community: Lenten Advertising

A few years ago, shortly after I strated working in the Presbytery office, I was asked to give advice on our annual Lenten Advertising.  Twice a year our office places ads on the radio (WTOP, for you locals!), Advent and Lent.  We have been using the audio files from the Here and Now Campaign, which now appears to be defunct.  We used to do print ads in the local paper as well.  We ask that people go to our website where we list all 108 of our congregations by city, making it easier to locate a church in the area that might suit their desires for worship.

It's actually a neat program that we have put together - we ask our churches to send us a listing of any worship service, regularly scheduled Sunday morning services or special ones, as well as any other open-to-the-public events.  We then can list them out so that people could even choose to go to worship at several of our churches over the course of the season! 

We get about 80% participation from our churches, which is a good turnout for anything that's not mandated GA Statistics.  We have also gotten feedback from our churches that they apreciate our efforts on their behalf, but I have to admit that it's hard to track real, numerical effectiveness.  Still, it's an important part of our service to our churches, and theirs to their community!

So, in the full knowledge that there are only two times a year that you will see a lot of families and visitors, what do you do to promote your programs and services?  What do you wish you could do?  Do you team up with other congregations (or Presbytery as a whole) to save on advertising while getting out the same message?


RobMonroe said...

I'll also add that we used to do print ads. One year we settled on "Palms, Psalms and a Donkey... Come see what it all means" We had some other good ones lined up:

•B.Y.O.P. - Bring Your Own Palms (or borrow one from us!)
•Come celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter at your neighborhood Presbyterian Church.
•Got Church? Try Ours
•Parade Planned! Welcome Jesus With a Local PCUSA Congregation.

Elaine said...

Great ideas.

I can't say that I've ever thought about advertising Lent. I really had never thought about this kind of an effort being done at a Presbytery level.

Thanks for posting.

Norman, Oklahoma

Stushie said...

Lent is for Christians to prepare themselves for Easter. If every church was to encourage each member to fully take seriously the King's business of salvation, and then bring one other person to church throughout the six weeks, we would double our numbers...and take care of the One Great Hour of Sharing challenge that the Moderator has asked us to consider.