Communications and Marketing

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Take this quick quiz: Earn an 'A' in marketing

Take this five-question church-marketing quiz to see how well you know how to promote your church, its services, congregation and activities — and how much you can still learn.

1. Your congregation operates a stand at a community event. What should you give to festival-goers?

A. Ice-cream sandwich
B. Pen printed with your church’s website
C. Magnet listing your church’s services and website

Answer: If you’re reaching adults, go with C (the magnet). Ice-cream sandwiches create sticky messes. The pen is nice but easily misplaced and forgotten. People are more likely to place a magnet on the refrigerator, which they open several times every day. Make magnets inexpensively by using business card stock and stick-on magnets available at office-supply stores.

2. It’s time to prepare the annual budget. For marketing, you should:

A. Review last year’s budget to see what was budgeted versus what was spent. 
B. Cut and paste last year’s figures into this year’s budget. 
C. Evaluate what’s happening now or will occur in the next year and create an entirely new budget.

Answer: A and C. Always start by reviewing the past. For example, what if you budgeted $2,000 for print advertising and used only $500? Compare last year’s expenditures to results. If you spent $1,000 to promote an event that only 10 people attended, is it worth promoting again at that level?

Budget preparation also requires a proactive viewpoint. What are your church’s goals for the next year? How can you align the marketing budget with those expectations? Don’t just cut and paste. It may be quick, but it’s not the way to improve your marketing.

United Methodist Communications offers church marketing planning tools that can be helpful in this process.

3. It is solely your marketing team’s responsibility to promote your church.


Answer: False. The marketing team can lead the efforts, identify the opportunities and assist members in promotion — but, ultimately, it’s the responsibility of everyone in your church. Whether they know it or not, your members serve as ambassadors in the community. What do they say about your faith community? A critical component of welcoming newcomers is saying good things to them at the beginning. Make sure you’re welcoming them properly.

4. A few years ago, your church joined the blogging trend. The last post, however, still says “Happy New Year.” You should:

A. Delete the blog from your website. 
B. Keep the blog and promise yourself to post two times every week. 
C. Breathe new life into the blog. 
D. Go with Facebook and Twitter only.

Answer: Technically, no answer is wrong, but some are better than others. Before you delete the blog, see if you can breathe new life into it (7 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Blog). Think you’ll live up to the new twice-a-week promise? Think again. Why did you fall off the blogging wagon? What will make this time different? Finally, go with Facebook and Twitter — both of which appreciate short posts and offer a direct opportunity to reach the audience who has “liked” you or become a “follower.” Here are a few Facebook tips to make creating posts easier. Finally, if you have the time to evaluate the blog in depth, consider a communication audit to evaluate all of your communication tools.

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