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Topic: Copywriting

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Church Brochure/flyer- Direction Needed

Posted by amandajo on 125 Points
I have volunteered to help my church make a brochure and am stuck on the main stuff (front cover!).

Background-
The church I attend is very small (~30 on Sundays). It is a conservative Lutheran church. You can see www.wels.net for the national church page, ours church page is www.crossofglorylutheran.com). Members are mostly white, middle class, primarily college educated. We have a church hall (no steeple or grand windows), but we have blueprints for a proper church building that is still 3-5 years out.

Opportunity-
We have 3 really large relatively expensive apartment complexes that have recently been built in the neighborhood. We have already received permission from one to post flyers for our events and to put a brochure in their welcome folder for new residents and would like to do this at the other two as well. We also want to make gift baskets with local details for a subdivision that is being built adjacent to the church property; this basket will also have a church brochure included.

Problem-
We don’t have a church brochure.

Action so far-
I formed a small group to get some ideas of where we wanted to head. Seem to be consensus on family, belonging, love- “All one family in Christ”. A second idea is the reliability of our beliefs, being based on the word of God things don’t change, that “sure foundation”. Keep in mind we have a liturgical service (think catholic) so are not charismatic or very high energy and don’t want to make a brochure that misleads people else we will waist their time and ours.
They wanted to make a brochure that has the churches name, Cross of Glory, a sketch of our future church building, and the address with some basic things in inside (service times, a note or two about what we believe, some of the activities/groups, details on the kindergarten school…)

The Root of the Question-
What do you think about that plan? Don’t we need a slogan, a main point, some pick-me-up text on the front cover? Or am I over marketing this thing?
How do things work- if people are looking for a church, the cover says we are a church they will pick it up and read it. It is being targeted to new comers to the area so this may be okay.
Or are people –not- looking for a church when they see the flyer. Instead they are looking for a church when mom dies, or a child falls ill, or once the divorce papers are signed. If this is so then to meet this need we need a brand that is recognized. We are not pushy and I don’t want to “market” church to people this will foster resistance. Part of me just thinks we need a clearer, memorable, meaningful, brand message to rally behind.

Do you see my internal conflict here?

If you think we need a flashy message or a tagline, can you offer some ideas?

If you think we should put up just the church name as front and center then just let me know why.

Thanks!
Amanda

  • Posted by wnelson on Member
    Amada,
    I am a marketing professional and a Catholic (close enough to Lutheran to understand where you are coming from. I worked with the youth in my church for about four year, and in particular, with teens who were "converting" to Catholicism. These teens either had no religion - meaning their family missed it along the way - or they were converts from Baptism or another protestant religion.

    One of the major challenges in my "ministry" was that most families look to the church at holidays (we called these people pew potatos - they were in the pews observing, but not participating) or as you said, when people die or need to get married. One of the things I have notices about some of the other faiths is that they target needs better than Catholics (and apparently Lutherans). This is a marketing principle! Other faiths are less structured and they can adapt easier to the needs than we Catholics or Lutherans can.

    That being said, Lutheran faith is much richer than a "one size fits all" that you are describing as your charter. You have many ministries, I am sure, to address young singles, single parents, young families, retirees...everyone. An apartment complex (or three) are made up of many people. I believe that you have something to offer for each "segment." I would not recommend a single brochure or slogan based campaign. People are naturally suspicious of organizaed religion from this regard and will dismiss things not aimed directly to their situation. What I would recommend is that you form a relationship with the apartment managers and as people commit to move in, find out what category they fall into. And then, personalize the message directly to the people. In fact, versus a delivery of a basket to them have someone of similar background in your church personally deliver it! People moving in to an area who meet someone similar to them is a good thing! These representatives cna relate how their "similar" needs are met by the church. This is how I would structure it.

    Hope this helps.

    Wayde
  • Posted by ROIHUNTER on Accepted
    amanda,

    I have several religious non-profits as clients, one being a Baptist Church with 300 - 400 Sunday attendance.

    I usually ask them this question when I am asked to help with this type of project: "Are you looking for transfer growth (already 'saved' and just seeking a new church home) or are you looking for Kingdom growth (unsaved, true evangelism)?

    For Transfer Growth: Use all the phrases, acronyms, and imagery that a 'good' Lutheran should know. This will scare most of the people you don't want away, and the brochure becomes a filtering method.

    Kingdom Growth: Speak to the audience in their language using phrase and images that will make them feel comfortable in trying you out. Don't write it for the committee, congregation, board or pastor, they already attend.

    If you are doing events, then brand the events not the church, you can always make a brochure for the church for when they truly show interest in your group. Make the events regular and make sure you use the same brand each time for that event. ie - Monthly Fish Fry for ALL! or Family Night - Fun, Food, and Friends!

    Hope that helps ...
  • Posted by michael on Accepted
    Amanda,
    I have to agree with Wayde on this one. Christianity is a personal relationship but "posting flyers" is rather impersonal. Remember, The Spirit convicts. Your job is to invite.
    So you're brochure should be a track to run on, meaning a well thought out presentation of who you are as a church:
    Dates and times of services (include Holy Days etc)
    Address
    What you are; example: We offer a liturgical service that provides reflective teaching on how God can be real in your life.
    What you're not; example: No chanting, hugging, arm-waiving and money-asking.
    Background of your Pastor>>>>not hype, just so they realize he's a real person.
    People generally avoid church because they think churches are full of hypocrits when it truth the church is full of sinners who sin everyday and hold on to Jesus for forgiveness. They need to hear that!

    In addition, evangelism is a requirement so handing these out gets people in your congregation involved in the Great Commission.

    Hope this helps.
    Michael
  • Posted by amandajo on Author
    You guys are great help so far.

    I like the idea of promoting the events, we did that for a while but have stepped away from it. Long term I want to move back to that direction more organized, focused, purposeful events aimed at outreach.
    I am getting some general church business cards made up with the back saying "hello my name is ______." "You're invited to _____." The idea being to have one good event at least every 2 months so people can have something to invite people to that is not church service. (Sunday scare people, so if they can go to an event 1st, then on Sunday- they will see familiar faces.) I figure most people won’t use the cards, but I hope they think about them.

    Anyways, to stay focused these brochures are kind of a drop off and leave. All the apartment complexes are relatively large. We can probably do the focused things for the homes being build, since there will not be so many. But, I think it will be hard for us to keep up with the apartments and I think it will be asking too much for the complex mangers to help us to that extent.

    One thought is that all the people who will get the brochure are moving. Moving is a life event and perhaps that can be targeted.

    Since I don’t see anything going the other way, I assume the vote will be that for this, the general brochure, go with the church name on the cover. I guess this goes more for Transfer Growth.

    More thoughts are always welcome!

    -Amanda
  • Posted by Theresa H. on Accepted
    Going to a church...becoming part of a church is about becoming part of a group of PEOPLE and the body of Christ. Having the church name on the front of the brochure is important, particularly because it identifies your denomination, but I would put pictures of PEOPLE - your congregation members specifically - on the front of your brochure. Pictures of worship, events, people having fun, people studying the Word.

    This would hit two points... 1) showing the faces that people would see at an event, or on Sunday allowing newcomers to see more familiar when walking in for the first time and 2) showing a group of people being people, doing things that newcomers would identify with... particularly the having fun part.

    Church is not about a building. Becoming part of a congregation is not about a building. It is about connecting with people. That is especially true when people "need" a church (like you said, when mom dies, when the divorce is final.) The most successful and fastest growing church in our area holds Sunday services in the auditorium of one of our middle schools with bad acoustics, but attendance has grown by almost 5-10% each Sunday for the last 8 months.

    As one of my colleagues stated, the Spirit convicts, your job is to invite and you need to make it as inviting as possible. People aren't afraid of going to a building, they are afraid of the people they will meet. Show them the people, let them create the relationship with the people in their minds before they come to church. Let them "put" themselves into the pictures, and when they are comfortable and "see" themselves there, they will come.

    As always, pray, let the Spirit guide you and see what else comes to you.

    Hope this helps.
    Theresa
  • Posted by amandajo on Author
    Hi Theresa,

    Good point. The idea of putting people in there was very quickly voted down in my idea group. They did not want to have to deal with taking pictures, updating pictures, being in pictures... They suggested sketched, black and white ink types of people. That going strongly against your suggestion.
    I will bring it up again and see what can be done to change the tide.
    -Amanda
  • Posted by amandajo on Author
    Awsome answer Brian! Maybe an overly big step for me to get my people to follow. But it really makes a great point, that is what we are doing, and it is catchy... so it might work

    At this point you guys (as always) have me thinking I should make 4-5 different things. I will play with it all tonight and see what comes out of it before I close the Q (also holding out for a few more reples!)

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