(Article's content based on a pamphlet published with the same name in
February, 1997, in the Recovering Sinners™ Series by Dale Lee)
|Put the activity on the church calendar|
|Do not wait till the last week to promote|
|Canceling a planned activity|
|Do not assume people know what you know about the activity|
|Steps for planning promotional activities|
|Your comments are wanted
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WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU PROMOTE? People will attend.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU DO NOT PROMOTE? People will not attend.
Families struggle with the efforts of several organizations trying to get the family members to participate in their activities. Conflicts arise as the family struggles to determine who goes where and when. The planners of church activities need to constantly be aware that they are competing with other organizations for the time of each member of the family. A youth organization that wins out for the time of a child will also have captured the time of the adult who has to provide transportation for the child.
Promotional activities are the efforts used to advertise a church’s activity. Of course, promoting the activity does not ensure that people will attend the activity. One thing for sure is that if people do not know about the activity, they will not attend it.
Sometimes it gets difficult to keep telling people what you have already told them several times. Some people are not organized and the reminders are a must if you want to get them involved in the activity. Varying the ways people are told about the activity can help keep the information about the activity fresh and interesting. It sometimes seems that people have a short memory.
It is important that a pastor understands the influence he has on the church members. A pastor promoting an activity from the pulpit increases the importance of the activity to many church members. If the pastor does not promote the activity from the pulpit, some people will interpret the lack of comment as an indication that the activity is not important. For the multiple staff church, the person that makes the announcements is the person that needs to promote the activity.
There are several ways to get information about an activity to church members, visitors, and community members.
Why tell people the details about an activity? People will often have to decide between different activities when deciding to attend a church function. The more they know about the church activity, the better decision they can make.
The promotion activities need to inform people of the value that the activity will have to the people that attend it. There will be some people that will attend just because it is an activity sponsored by the church. Most people will have to believe there is a value to them for them to attend the activity.
Place the activity on the church’s calendar as soon as possible. This enables you to claim the needed facilities and the selected date. Setting aside a date and time on the church calendar can be done before all the details have been planned.
Last minute planning and promotion of an activity will hurt the quality of the activity and its attendance. Promoting an activity requires planning and an investment of time if a good job will be done. Start promoting the activity several weeks before its scheduled date.
Exercise caution when considering canceling an activity after it has been promoted. Resist the urge to cancel a promoted activity. People have a tendency to not plan to participate in an activity that they think may be canceled. It can irritate people when an activity they have planned to attend is canceled.
If an activity is canceled, do make an extra effort to notify people that may have planned to attend the activity. A person will not be very happy if he shows up for an activity and finds out that it has been canceled. There will be times when an activity will be canceled. Be wise in making the decision to cancel an activity.
Do not assume that people know as much about the activity as you do. Veteran church members often make the mistake of assuming that all people associated with church will know as much about what “typically” occurs as they know. New members, new visitors, frequent visitors, fringe church members, and community members may not know anything about the activity.
Too often, people will not ask questions to find out more information about an activity. If they are not told, they will not know. If they do not know, they will not attend.
1. Determine the targeted audience for the promotional material.
2. Determine the information about the activity that people need to know.
3. Decide how the information will be communicated to the targeted audience.
4. Establish the schedule of when specific promotional activities will be conducted.
5. Prepare the text of material that will be used to promote the activity.
6. Prepare and carry out the planned promotional activities.
PROCRASTINATION IN PROMOTING AN ACTIVITY
WILL OFTEN HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT
ON THE PARTICIPATION OF PEOPLE IN THE ACTIVITY
Contact Dale Lee with your comments.
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