We live in a world that is surrounded by marketing of all sorts… TV shows, sports figures, movies, and plenty more advertisements flood our day-to-day lives. And as somebody who works with students and tries to promote events and retreats, this can be quite challenging!
And so, I’ve “stolen” a few ideas from media around us, as well as created a few ways of my own to spread the word about any upcoming events in our ministry. I usually try to reserve using some of these tactics only when I really need to spread the word. Not all of these tactics are necessary to use for EVERY event you have, but maybe one or two of them are necessary.
Here are some of the elements I use:
Facebook & Social Media
Creating events, sending messages, and overall just getting the word out is important. If you can get students to change their profile picture to your event pic, that’s a plus. If you can get students to “Share” the event on their wall to reach their friends, that’s another plus. If you have an event image, tag as many people as you can in that picture. That way, if a kid from the local school sees some of their classmates tagged in this picture, it will peak their curiosity. Use your ministry page effectively and creatively without being too annoying J
Students respond to something that’s funny. Come up with a silly way to promote your event, and then get some students together and shoot the video as a group. In this Youtube crazed world, we can learn a lot from these viral videos. And by the way, these funny videos don’t need to be long. 1-2 minutes is sufficient! And then, you may want to shoot a more informative video if you want people to know the details for the trip. Show the videos in your program, in “big church”, or circulate it via Facebook & Twitter.
If an event or retreat/trip is important enough, I’ll invest some budget money into getting some nicely printed flyers. With those flyers, my goal is to spread those things out as much as possible. I’ll pass a ton to our regular students to circulate, I’ll leave them around local coffee shops, and I’ll mail them out to ANY student who’s attended our ministry program over the last few years. The same things apply with this as the other marketing tools: get the word out however possible.
Getting students involved in the planning process is something that can help you in many ways. For one, you get to utilize the creative minds of your students, since they know your target audience better than you! Also, once they are bought into the event and are helping you plan and implement it, they will definitely tell their friends to be apart of it. Students tend to be more interested in something they helped create, so use that to your advantage.
So, those are some of the ways I try to spread the word and promote events and trips. Do you have any tested methods that work for you?
Kyle Daubenmeyer is currently the Youth Pastor at Rockpointe Community Church in Sterling Heights, MI. He loves sports,good movies, vacations, and spending time with friends and family. He has a lovely wife named Kristin and 2 beautiful daughters. He tweets at @kyledaubs