Has God ever given you a vision for the ultimate women’s ministry event, but you struggled to draw in your target audience? So frustrating, right? Much as we hate to admit it publicity is a key piece of the event planning puzzle. Below are a few tips that may help you gain traction or inspire other ideas to promote the events and ministries that you have worked so hard to plan:
Sell the Sizzle:
If your event/ministry is one in a long list of happenings being read during morning announcements (like, if you’re fifth in a list of twelve), there’s a pretty good chance that your audience has tuned out. Does this mean that you vie for first place in the line up every Sunday? Of course not. That would be neither fair nor Christlike. So what’s a girl to do? I personally believe that the facilitator(s) should be the spokesperson(s) for the event, which makes sense because the Lord has given her the vision and she possesses insider information that potential attendees may need. So, SELL THE SIZZLE! Let enthusiasm ooze from your pores, but keep it authentic. Move around. Gesture with your arms. Use visual aids when appropriate. Smile! No robots allowed. Remember that excitement is contagious! Having said that, some churches have a designated announcement person who may be territorial (it happens) about sharing the mic. Show respect and let him/her do the job. If you feel your event will need more Umphh! than he/she can provide, back it up with colorful PowerPoint slide or an old school bulletin insert.
Utilize Your Team:
In January, Woven Women offered an online book study of Kelly D. King’s “Ministry to Women.” It was a great read and the group of ladies who took part brought tons of insight to the table. In one chapter, the author shared an example of how one new women’s ministry was promoted within the congregation using creativity and humor. The planning team was instructed to wear red wigs to the Sunday morning worship service. Imagine the buzz created as folks entered the sanctuary to find a bunch of “Lucy look-alikes” milling around. Curiosity was just the ticket to inspire interest. Ladies were eager to hear the details and sign up. Note that you don’t have to don wigs. The possibilities are endless for fun or dramatic ways to grab your audience’s attention. Think outside the box!
Ride the Wave:
Once you’ve sent your initial save-the-dates via email, it’s imperative to keep your audience intrigued. As women who often juggle packed schedules, it’s easy to lose track of something that initially piqued our interest so send regular updates. Select a time interval (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) at which time you’ll follow up with a teaser to keep them plugged in. Create eye catching templates (there’s most likely someone on your team who’s got a knack for desktop design). Include photos or graphics–no one wants to read a wall of words. Be strategic about content.
Here’s an example: If you’re promoting a seminar you’ll want to give an overview with registration details in your save-the-date. Afterwards, you can map out content: One teaser could be a blurb about the speaker with a brief bio and photo. If there are breakout sessions you may want to feature a different speaker each time until they’re all introduced. One could be a blurb about the theme, one could provide meal and refreshment details (include a note to report any dietary restrictions to the appropriate person), one could include a synopsis of a book that will be utilized or suggested Bible passages, etc., etc., etc. You could even send a teaser expressing how you’re looking forward to the recipient attending. This wouldn’t need to be personalized because we’re all flowers in the God’s garden bringing something unique to the mix. The goal with the teasers is to continually keep invitees intrigued. It works. I’ve done it!
Give It a Bath:
PRAY! It’s the beginning, middle, and end game of anything we do for Christ. We know this. We all know this. It’s not #4 on the list because it’s the crescendo. It’s to remind ourselves. Let’s face it, we can put in the hours planning and prepping, then promote until the cows come home, but if the event/ministry hasn’t been bathed in prayer, it’s going belly up. It’s God’s vision, not ours. Seeking Him is the bedrock of any plan/team worth its salt. Let’s be intentional about bathing everything in prayer.