Susan Young has written part 1 of a series that describes the difference between marketing and publicity, and why you, as a volunteer organization, need to be doing both.  If not you, then your message.

Marketing is all about branding. Marketing is how your organization differentiates itself.  Susan says that marketing messages should be a few short sentences that are punchy and concise.

  • A Church on the Move
  • Church with the Big Red Door
  • Real church for real people
  • For by grace we are saved . . .
  • The Offer Still Stands

Every person in your organization should live and breathe this message. When they convey this nugget to someone, the person listening should not walk away puzzled.  It belongs on everything you publish,  every message that goes to the congregation and the community.  The slogan defines who you are in a few words.

Marketing is how you position yourself to the community.  Sometimes it’s in your name, especially newer congregations or newer congregations within the older church.  At one 40-year-old church, we created GracePlace, a Sunday evening service different from the morning.  The name was to convey a shift in attitude, trying to change the neighborhood’s perception of us as “the place I used to go before they ran me off over some triviality.”

And that’s the warning with marketing.  It has to match who you are.  If you say you’re a friendly church but no one talks to visitors, you’ve wasted all the effort to build a brand, and in some cases, take a step backward.

But if you have a consistent message, get that message down to a few words and get the message out into the community.  It is your new brand.

I’m not saying the Gospel needs improvement, but in a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christianity, you may need to do some