Create a Marketing/PR/Social media plan– You already know that if you want something to be effective and efficient, you have to start with a plan! Create a marketing, PR, and social media plan that includes a proper analysis of your organization’s structure and a SWOT profile (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to help you determine what your goals, strategies and objectives are and how you are going to implement them within your plan. If you are unsure how to accomplish this, don’t hesitate to enlist the services of a qualified PR or marketing professional.
Create a TEAM of individuals that will implement the plan and continually work on the process of promoting the church or ministry’s mission. It will be important that those within this team have the writing, technological and social media skills necessary to implement the plan effectively. Consistency and engagement will be key, especially with social media, so make sure these individuals have a working grasp of how traditional and new media work. If your team needs training, consider enlisting the help of a PR or marketing professional to help minimize the sense of overwhelming frustration that can come with implementing the plan. A professional can also assist with strategy and evaluative methods.
Identify the appropriate social medium and traditional media needed to reach your target audience and make sure that you are posting rich and interesting content such as photos, videos, and engaging posts. Understand that you don’t necessarily need to be on all social mediums – only what makes sense for your church or ministry. Starting small and doing things effectively will yield much better results than opening up a social media account for every medium and doing a lousy job managing them or keeping your audience engaged.
Don’t sleep on traditional PR! Create a media list and reach out to local media that cover religion stories; keep them informed about newsworthy events you are doing at your church or in the community such as back to school drives, mentoring programs, etc. Be sure to post your news to media boards, online calendars, and other “FREE” advertising spaces. Also consider investing in promoted posts or promoted pages only if it makes sense for your church and/or ministry to do so. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have in-app advertising options.
EVALUATE what’s working and what’s not working with your overall PR, Marketing & Social media plan. Monitor your website and social media analytics regularly to see how you are doing. Consider doing in-church surveys, make sure you are posting on social media at times that are congruent with your audience’s participation, and tweak appropriate areas of your plan accordingly.
There are tons of ways you can “think outside the box” to get your church’s or ministry’s message to a broader audience using PR, marketing and social media. Remember also that many of your congregants are using social media and have personal email accounts, so consider creating newsletters, e-newsletters, FB group pages, and other tools to engage the congregation and make them “brand ambassadors” for your ministry.
With the technology now available, many of which are FREE, it is an exciting time to spread the Good News and expose your church’s mission and message to a much larger audience. I’m certainly here to help you and your church and/or ministry begin the process of doing just what the Great Commission mandates, “GO….and make disciples!!!”