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Self Promotion

Presence

Church needs presence, most churches are the best kept secret within their own locality and because of this many are seen as aloof and unapproachable, the church has to take steps to change this perception and to achieve this requires the church to build a presence:

1. Advertising

2. Presence on the web (a web page)

3. Social media (Facebook, Twitter)

4. Leaflet (standard advertising)

5. Church notice boards (dynamic places)

6. Being active within the community

7. Stop making the building look like a fortress

8. Make sure you have professional photographs taken

Advertise

Many years ago the local press space was free to the church, however, this relationship has long since passed away. The church today has to pay for space just as everyone else has to and because of this most leaderships see no value in it, yet the world does. Within the church meetings the response of the leadership is that it is a waste of money! It then makes you wonder why on earth we have a multi-billion-pound advertising industry? With this attitude within our leadership is it of any surprise that no one outside the local church knows of its existence and have no idea on what takes place within its walls. This attitude will then pervade into the new social media activities and leaderships because of their age, generally an older generation, will be reluctant to embrace new ways of reaching people, they don't value it so why should anyone else?

Leaders take note when was the last time you advertised your church in the local press and do you recommend to your church every year a budget for its promotion? If people do not know that you exist then how can you expect them to come, if people do not know your location how can they find you?

 

The church has to fight for people's attention, just like everyone else, you must use all the available affordable media outlets to show that you exist, that you are alive and that you are a church who is active and meeting the needs of the community in which it serves. Seek the local press and make sure you have a presence, dig out the local magazines that provide advertising space and make sure you have a slot. If you see no value in this then you do not value your church, the message that you have and it may be that you are ashamed of it? 

Social Media a presence on the Web

Your church needs a web page, to find services in their area most people type into Google or Bing (other search engines are available), because Google is their friend "show me churches in my local area," if your church is not listed then it is hidden and will be kept secret from them. Try to remember that you are fighting for their attention.

To build a web presence, and it's not complicated, the first thing to decide upon is a web page provider such as WIX.COM or Square Space. Most suppliers provide a simple and easy to use interface with hundreds of templates, do not use Flash pages. Your web pages must not be static keep them up to date and relevant. If they do not change then your church will seem dead, make sure the pages are alive and dynamic and that they show the facilities that you have to offer.

Structure of the web site:

1. Try to keep the site simple in structure

2. Keep the pages up to date

3. Put urgent and relevant information on or near to the home page

4. Make sure you have a contact page and be responsive when someone does contact you

5. Include your location and a map

6. Edit the SEO information and keep your descriptions brief and to the point

Do not give to young people the responsibility of creating and maintaining your offical web site, point them instead to social media (see below):

 

Facebook

Facebook is a dynamic and exciting environment, while an organization’s web page is its front door, the real interaction takes place with its social media pages such as Facebook, and it may have more than one for example a page for each organization within the church. To create these pages, it is very easy, and you can provide up to date information in real time via a phone or mobile device. Do not be afraid of social media as much nonsense has been talked about Facebook and its use. Instead take charge of it and do not let fear take charge of you. As with all things apply yourself to the page and be sensible, any comments which are rude or bring no blessing just delete them folk will soon get the message.  ​If you have someone who is keen create a Twitter account get them to manage it, as with Facebook do not listen to the nonsense talked about Twitter, it is a tool to be used and if used sensibly can be an asset.

Simple Rules when using social media and Web Sites

1. Do not publish personal and sensitive material
2. Keep information up to date and relevant
3. Ensure that your contact information is accurate, and an e-mail address is essential, ensure that someone checks it regularly, you can set auto forward to more than one person if required
4. Make sure that the pages are alive and tell people what is going on well in advance, (take a look at http://www.lifechurchhome.com/ or Richmond Road - see our link pages for more information - for websites for churches which are alive growing and are having an impact) for social pages take a look at http://www.facebook.com/iamfutureUK

5. If you want interactivity then select Facebook and/or twitter and get excited about the medium see it as an opportunity not as a threat

6. If you see abuse or people arguing with no purpose on your social media pages then delete that activity, though note not everyone speaks or talks like you 

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Be involved

Is your church involved within its local community, do you give as well as receive? There is nothing as embarrassing as a church who cry's out all the time that it is poverty stricken yet all that it does with the money that it receives is to refurbish and takes care of its own needs. As a church are you involved with:

 

1. The 15 minute revolution (Life Church in Bradford and Paul Scanlon see our links page)

2. A food bank, one that you have set-up or a community project

3. Youth Ministry (not a youth club)

4. Community Projects

5. Look for opportunities to be involved and not be absent

6. Warm rooms

 


Make sure you tell people what you are involved with do not be embarrassed about this especially if they give you funds because you are involved.

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