Power to the Pews: Paint the Town

Power to the Pews: Paint the Town

May 21, 2012 by

This is part five in our series on guerrilla church marketing, Power to the Pews.

Last time we talked about the people in the pews inviting their friends to church. That word of mouth, direct invite from someone you know is powerful and effective. But there’s more you can do. One big step is to make sure your community knows about your church.

Paint the town. Make sure your church is advertised all around town. Make sure people have heard of your church, make sure they see your logo, make it hard for them to miss. This is the kind of thing any communications team would love to do, but it might be too daunting of a task. But it might be something simple for the person in the pew to tackle.

But two things first:

  1. Don’t be obnoxious. Painting the town with your church is a great way to spread the word. It’s also a great way to make your church look like the evil corporation that leaves garbage all over and vandalizes property. Don’t be that person. Ask permission, obey local laws and be a nice neighbor.
  2. For the communication folks following along, this is a powerful way to empower your congregation. You may not have time to paint the town yourself, but it might be worth it to print up supplies and create a street team of lay people to do your marketing for you.

Now let’s get to work…

  • Post Signs – Signs have been a marketing standby forever. Small businesses rely on them and local bands have turned them into an art. Create signs advertising your church and plaster them around town. Many coffee shops, libraries, rec centers and community centers have public bulletin boards where you’re welcome to post your signs. Local businesses may be willing to put a sign in the window (get permission!), especially if you’re promoting a big event.
  • Flyers – The sign’s younger brother is the stack of flyers with the same eye-catching design that allows people to take the information home. You can ask businesses if you can leave a stack on the counter. You’re asking a lot more of a local business than a sign in the window, so it might help to find businesses run by church members. Or hit up the coffee shop around the corner that your congregation frequents.
  • Business Cards – Remember those business cards we talked about using for personal invites before? Those are perfect to drop in the fishbowl at local restaurants. You can spread the word and maybe even win a free lunch for your church’s staff.
  • Yard Signs – Your yard is prime real estate. Politicians take advantage every fall, so why not give the space to a better cause? Increase the impact by focusing on a big event and getting a large crew of your fellow church members to do it too. The message is more effective when it’s repeated, so the more yards you can get the better.
  • Bumper Stickers – Your bumper is a moving billboard. That’s another great place to spread the word about your church. Just make sure your driving habits match the message. You don’t want to end up on the Fail Blog.
  • Door Hangers – Another approach is to go door to door in your church’s neighborhood with some door hangers. Religious people going door to door has some negative associations, so save this one for special events and make it worthwhile.
  • Public Computers – A high tech way to paint the town is to pull up your church website on public computers. It’s low impact, but it’s also simple and easy. Do it at the library, Apple Store, college computer lab, etc.

There are literally hundreds of other ways you can paint the town for your church, from T-shirts to sidewalk chalk. We just shared a few ideas to get you thinking. Share more ideas in the comments and start thinking about how you can spread the word about your church around town.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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