Flash Marketing – How New Restaurants (and Churches) Get Noticed

I was speaking at a pastor’s conference recently and a pastor from Miami had a great question: “How do certain trendy restaurants open up and become what seems to be an instant success? Almost immediately, celebrities are standing in line to get in the door. How do they do that?” He wondered if the same techniques could be applied to a local church plant. In other words, how could we accelerate awareness for a new church or location? So I asked some experts in marketing to check their response. Their answers were wide ranging and interesting. Here’s what they had to say, and then I’ll give you a few thoughts at the end:

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Leaders: What You Should Know About Your Team

Whenever I consult with a church, ministry, or nonprofit, I always begin by looking closely at the team. The employees are the ones that make an organization work, so learning as much as we can about them is critical – and I’m often surprised at how little pastors and other leaders actually know about the personal side of their team. If you’re not taking the time to know your people well, you’re shortchanging your vision. Having studied teams over the years, here’s a starting list of issues leaders need to know about their teams:

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Will Livestreaming a Worship Service Hurt a Church’s Attendance?

Today, hundreds (probably thousands) of churches today are livestreaming their Sunday services. But in spite of those numbers, there’s still a significant number of pastors worried it will give their members a reason to stay home instead of show up at church. I’ve searched for empirical data on live streaming and its impact on church attendance, and I can’t find any (if you know any studies, please let us know.) But at our media consulting company, Cooke Pictures, we’ve helped numerous churches livestream their services and in every case, it’s been a positive experience. As I’ve shown in other posts,

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United Airlines and the Firestorm of Social Media

Is Your Organization Ready for Online Criticism?

For a Christian leader, the recent blow-up at United Airlines should be a teaching moment on the power of social media. You no doubt heard the story about an overbooked flight, and the passenger (who had paid for his ticket and was already seated on the plane) who was physically ejected for another passenger. Right or wrong, the incident was recorded on video and it quickly became the top story in the media. By the next morning, the social media memes had been launched:

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Disasters Rarely Happen Because of One Big Mistake

It's Usually the Trail of Little Ones...

When problems happen, we often look back for one big mistake – one poor decision as the culprit.  But the truth is, most problems don’t happen because of a big mistake, more often it’s a trail of small ones.  A few years ago, theatrical producer Peter Schneider, writing about all the problems the Broadway production of “Spiderman” experienced, quoted writer Jon Krakauer on the subject of big disasters:

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Using Gimmicks: Be Careful When Communicating a Message

The dictionary defines “gimmick” as: an ingenious or novel device, scheme or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.  This may sound strange, but one of the biggest reasons I work in media ministry today is that growing up, I thought pastors were so embarrassing.  Being a preacher’s kid in the South during the 50s and 60s was tough. Pastors were always doing wacky stuff to attract attention. I remember one pastor who sat perched on a chair atop a three-story-high pole until Sunday attendance hit a certain number. Another one locked himself in the steeple, praying for revival. You may remember pastors who shaved their head if the youth program brought enough visitors. Witnessing to a friend at school was much more difficult when his big question was,

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What You Should Expect From A Church Website

The world of website development has come so far that there’s very little you can’t do online these days. But in spite of the progress – including easy to build websites like Squarespace, Wix, and others – churches, ministries, and nonprofit organizations still struggle getting their websites to accomplish their goals. Sometimes it’s an expectation problem (because after all, they don’t teach website development in seminary or Bible college) and sometimes it’s a lack of good advice. Either way, I decided to create a baseline list of what your website should be able to do. And if it doesn’t, you need to have a serious talk with your in-house webmaster or your outside vendor:

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