Making the Most of Your Parish 

  1. Recruit a Professional Marketer: You didn’t hesitate to add a CPA or CFO to your finance council. Recruit a marketing executive to serve on parish council.
  2. Train the Trainers First: Keep your parish’s most involved in the know. They are already connected; let them help you spread the word.
  3. It’s all about me: Every marketer knows it’s all about the customer – no matter what the topic. How does this relate to me? (hint: listen, listen, listen)
  4. Guilt is Out, Positive Reinforcement is In: Don’t tell them they HAVE to do anything. Tell them why they WANT to do it.
  5. Speak the Right Language: Minimize the Church-speak. Talk to real people in real terms, whether your audience’s age is 10, 20 or 65.
  6. Know Your Competition: Busy schedules? Mass media? Neighboring church? Sports? Address why your program is better, different, more helpful, etc.
  7. Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the bath water: Just because you don’t get a response, doesn’t mean bulletin announcements, flyers, e-mails, offering envelope mailing inserts, etc. never work. (Hint: Revisit rules #3 thru 6)
  8. Frequency, Frequency, Frequency: Repetition works in our busy society. It works even better if you follow rules #3 thru 6 and use your full arsenal in #7.
  9. Be professional: You don’t have to outdo Proctor and Gamble, but at least get in the ballpark. Keep costs low by finding a printer, graphic artist and/or webmaster in your parish to volunteer services and advice.
  10. Deliver on Your Promises: It’s better to do fewer events/programs right, then more events/programs sloppy. People will appreciate it and come again next time.

John Christensen is Our Sunday Visitor's Director of Marketing and Advertising.