Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ditch the Day-Glo

This is the title of a new website authored by Phil Creighton, to tie in with his book 'How to be heard in a noisy world'. It's a very helpful book on all aspects of church publicity, covering things like

- noticeboards

- how to create a decent website

- church notice sheets and publicity

- working with the media

- creating a reader-friendly church newsletter/magazine

- creating a church logo

- using technology

- the church building, and the messages we send by how well (or not) it's looked after

and pretty much all aspects of the communication/publicity side of things for churches.

It's a very good book, with attention to detail (e.g. exploring the readability of different fonts, and the kind of message they send), and plenty of examples of both good, and bad, publicity. Some of the church noticeboards are particularly grim, and make me shift uncomfortably in my seat when I think of the condition of one of ours! Any church wanting to review it's publicity, or even explore one of the areas above, would get a lot out of consulting the book.

Just 1 thing which I wasn't sure about. Creighton is pretty scathing about poor quality publicity materials, which is fair enough. But when he got to talking about mass-photocopied leaflets I started twitching. We did 3000 of said leaflets at the start of the autumn - an A5 card, duplicated on a risograph, and distributed by an army of 30 or so volunteers from the church. I think it's the fact that it wasn't a glossy printer job that made it stand out from the leaflets for Morrisons and Dominos pizza.

We reckon there have been about 20 new contacts through that card, from baptisms to toddler groups to folks turning up at church. So we're doing it again for Christmas. Creighton is right that quality materials aren't beyond the budget of many normal churches, now that technology has brought things within range for us. But I wonder if there's an authenticity about something that's a well-done but clearly in-house production.

If you want to browse the book and live in Somerset, it'll be back in the Diocesan resources centre in Wells by the end of next week, as I currently have it out on loan! In the meantime, here are some of the links he recommends:

http://www.parishpump.co.uk/ - material for church magazines etc.

http://www.hosea.co.uk/ - advice on website design

http://www.thesheepdip.co.uk/ - resources for newsletters, magazines etc.

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