Several years ago, a church asked us to create a direct mail piece that would be read (or noticed). That’s not unusual, however, this time, the church asked us to do whatever it would take (short of sin).
We’re always glad when clients ask us to put on our creative caps! But, even more importantly, we like when they know that there are limits (sin). If there’s one thing that makes a church newsworthy, it’s sin. We shouldn’t ever attempt to TRY to get in the newspaper for that reason. Obviously!
In order to get something noticed, it has to be in one of a few categories:
- Weird – way out of the ordinary
- Funny – unexpected; but brings a smile or a chuckle
- Innovative – so creative that it stimulates discussion
- Newsworthy – water cooler discussion worthy
For this particular church, we decided to incorporate all of these. We created a small National Enquirer looking flier that “twisted” the news from this local church. It contained “in-your-face” pictures and outlandish headlines.
The first thing that people did when opening their mail was to scratch their heads about this flier and to start to smile with the oddities that it contained. Visitor attendance increased for several weeks after they did the mail drop. It worked.
Another church asked us to help develop the World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt.
Not an easy task. There’s a reason that everyone isn’t in the Guiness Book.
Thanks to a cooperative partnership, Hershey donated 250,000 chocolate easter eggs that needed to be hidden. The church wasn’t large enough, nor the church property. We looked at the local community park and determined that it too wasn’t large enough.
BTW, it would take almost 6 acres of land if you (on average) hid an Easter egg every square foot.
After a call to the city about this anticipated event, they closed down the whole downtown city core so we could hide the eggs. They even threw in a meeting place in front of the city hall to start the event (which included the gospel message). Almost 10,000 kids participated!
Another church asked us to create a break-through message. Because the average member was in the 20-30 age demographic and the music/message was quite edgy, we brainstormed and developed the positioning: “Not your Grandparent’s Church”. Then the church plastered billboards, posters and brochures all around town. Within the month, the church had doubled in size.
Another Church wanted to do a Sunday School emphasis. They didn’t want the “usual”, they wanted a break-through direct mail piece. Their Superintendent of Sunday School only had one concern. And it’s a concern I often hear from churches. They didn’t want their Sunday School program to be seen as babysitting.
After the Executive Pastor and I had a discussion, we decided to do just that!
We created a direct mail postcard that invited the community to drop their kids off so they could have their Sunday mornings free of children.
It was a success.
The kids took a flier home each week explaining the moral principles that they were learning at the church. Within a few weeks, parents were coming to the church to find out more. They wanted to get the encouragement and messages that the kids were getting.
I could go on and on.
So, what are you considering that would be weird, different thinking for a “regular” church. Again, stop short of sin! Comment below about some outlandish ideas you’ve tried (and whether they’ve been a success or not) or something you’re considering! We need to be “salt” to our communities — and that means we must stand out!