Let's keep it simple. From my experience there are a number of classic and contemporary methods to market your church or parish. These should be at the forefront of any successful church / parish marketing plan. A number of these are free or relatively inexpensive. The number 1 method though is ‘Word of Mouth’ is free!
Now this may seem quite obvious and simple to many, that the number one strategy is word of mouth, unfortunately it can be anything but that. Word of mouth requires the great majority of people to be speaking positively about your parish. This not only includes those directly in the parish community e.g. staff and parishioners, but also those in the wider community who may influence those within and without of the parish. This would include: others directly associated with the parish e.g. suppliers of goods, professionals e.g. those charged with the financial guidance and auditing, architects and engineers of the building plan, people various associations, committes and boards, etc.
Hence, these people need to be fully informed and communicated with, concerning all the events and happenings within the church /parish. This includes the positive and the negative.
Why the negative you may ask? If the church / parish is run effectively it will have policies and procedures to deal with most, if not all, circumstances it may face. When people within and without the parish see that it is dealing with those negative aspects in a professional, caring and effective way, they will more than likely offer their support. For many of these people they will go much further and espouse how wonderful the parish is in the way that it deals with negative issues. This can be a very effective method, overall.
Once this strategy is accepted as the primary means to market a church or parish, it then becomes evident that the next challenge is to select numerous forms of communication and a number of strategies, which are going to be needed for the ‘word of mouth’ strategy to be fully informed and hence, successful.
The 'Word of Mouth - the #1 Strategy for Church and Parish Marketing' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com