Communicating to the Community
To promote JourneyChurch.tv’s Christmas Spectacular, they relied heavily on their own folks inviting their friends to the event. They knew that’s always the best way to get people to check out your church—personal invitations. But they did do a bit of traditional advertising, as well as something a bit creative that gave them a huge return—plus it was free!
They began, of course, with invitation cards and yard signs that they gave to their congregation. They encouraged their folks to go out and invite their neighbors.
Then they put up a few advertisements at kiosk billboards in the local mall. This helped reinforce the event in their congregation’s mind and in the minds of those their folks invited to come with them. For churches, your best use of advertisement is to reinforce the invitations from your congregation.
The Creative Idea
JourneyChurch.tv’s project manager had heard of something unique that their local public school system did. The ISD had a system called Thursday Folders. These were folders filled with items that showed what was happening in their school and community that the kids brought home to their parents.
They got the opportunity to put their flyer in there for their Christmas show. By planning far ahead, they were able to get their flyer approved by the public school system for inclusion in the folders. It went home in about 24,000 folders!
Their 5.5×8.5 flyer advertised the event—especially mentioning all the activities they had planned for kids in their lobby. They also advertised a free gift if you brought the flyer with you to the service. (The free gift was a glow stick the kids could play with during the service.)
You can imagine that the kids had already checked out their folders before they got home. And by the time the folder made its way to their parents, they were already begging their mom and dad to take them to the event.
What an effective way to reach families. It was almost like getting to hand a flyer directly to someone—through the eager hands of their children.
This was their most effective advertising idea and cost the least amount of money. It only cost them the price of printing 25,000 flyers—a very inexpensive cost compared to its success.
The result of all these efforts brought out almost 10,000 people to their services. This is double their normal attendance!