Below you’ll find the transcript for episode 19, How to Create Captivating Publicity for Your Women’s Ministry, from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
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EP: 19 – How to Create Captivating Publicity for Your Women’s Ministry
Welcome to the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. I’m Cyndee Ownbey, your host and women’s ministry mentor. I’m the founder of Women’s Ministry Toolbox and the author of Rethinking Women’s Ministry. The Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast is a podcast for women’s ministry leaders and team members of all stages (from new to seasoned) serving in their local church community. If you’re looking for hope and inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! In addition to discussing the nuts and bolts of women’s ministry, I’ll be asking seasoned women’s ministry leaders to share their best tips and the lessons they’ve learned. Together we’ll learn to build a flourishing, Christ-focused women’s ministry.
Today, we’ll be talking about where to share publicity and what it needs to include.
Then we’ll wrap the discussion up with four creative publicity ideas that will catch the attention of your women.
On my website (click links to view), I have a total of 26 ways to publicize events inside the church and another 25 ways to publicize women’s ministry events outside of your church walls. Rather than read the entire list to you, I’m just going to highlight a few.
Let’s start with publicity to church members and attendees.
The number one way to publicize your events is…
I hope that you have a women’s ministry email list, but if not, check out this post that will help you find an email list service if your church does not have a program that you can use.
2. Make announcements during church services
Now you’re going to have to check your church policy on this. In our church, the women’s ministry team can request announcements for our biggest events only – and that’s about two or three times a year.
3. Women’s bathroom
This idea is gold. The women’s bathroom is an easy place to add flyers or a bulletin board where you can post notices about upcoming events.
4. Social media
You want to make sure that your publicity goes out on both the church social media accounts and your women’s ministry social media accounts.
If you have a women’s ministry Facebook group, that’s a great place to add publicity for upcoming events.
5. Small group announcements
Not a lot of people consider this. If it’s allowed, send your publicity information to Bible study and small group leaders. They can be super effective in spreading the word about what’s coming, and women are more likely to attend. If they know someone else, they know we’ll be going.
Just watch, you’ll see the women in that small group or Bible study asking one another, “Hey, are you going to be going to this?” And if the leader of the group is going, it’s really going to increase the chances that they’ll attend.
6. Mini-flyers with candy
Things like “be a smarty and attend our next women’s ministry event.” Or “we’re on a roll (with a Tootsie roll), there’s another great women’s ministry event coming your way!” “I’ve Hershey can’t wait for the women’s ministry retreat.”
Just make a simple little flyer, business card size or a little bit larger, with the information and the website and the piece of candy taped to it. Those are so fun! And if allowed, you might be able to pass them out at the door as women are entering the worship center on Sunday morning.
Let’s talk about publicity outside of your church walls.
It’s an app and website specifically for neighborhoods. It’s very popular in the area that we live. You can reach a lot of unchurched people there.
2. Local community newspapers
Many of them have online and printed event calendars.
3. Your preschool
If your church has one, that’s a place we often forget. Those moms are probably hungry and looking for community and would be very excited to be invited to your event. But if they don’t attend your church, they probably don’t know about it.
4. Encourage your team members and women in your church to share it on their personal Facebook profiles.
5. Set up a booth at a local craft fair or a summer festival
Years ago, our moms’ group set up a nursing and changing station for a big summer festival that happened in our community’s downtown. We had diapers and sunscreen and free water and lemonade. We set up a changing table. We had partitions and a private nursing area mom could use, but we also made sure that we had flyers about our moms’ group.
It was wildly popular, and women were so thankful to have a place where they could sit down and nurse and change diapers. The people hosting the event were excited that we were providing this resource too. They were sending people in our direction when there was a need.
5. Church website
Now I know you’re probably thinking, hold on a minute, but here’s the thing, church websites are really for guests. They’re not for attendees, although you might reach both when you put your publicity information on there.
What does publicity need to include?
- Event name
- Event date
- Event day of the week
- Time (start and end)
- What participants need to bring
- Contact person
- Registration information
- Childcare information
To help you record and not miss including any of those 10 pieces in your publicity materials, I’ve created a free printable Publicity Form which is available here. If you’ve purchased the Rethinking Women’s Ministry Workbook or the Women’s Ministry Binder Essentials, you’ll find that you already have a copy.
There’s also room on that form to include your hook, tagline, the logo you need (that could be a ministry logo or a logo for your event), the graphics needed, the date to begin publicity, and the main text for your publicity. You will want to share this form with anyone and everyone who is distributing or creating publicity for your event.
It can be confusing when two different start times are publicized for a women’s ministry event. I know that from experience.
It’s usually best if one person creates and distributes all of the publicity pieces for an event; it adds a level of continuity that communicates your team has taken the time to prepare for women that will be attending. (You may recall we talked about the impact that preparations can make in episode 10 on Agendas.)
You want to make sure those publicity pieces all have the same colors, font, and style. It will create a harmonious presentation. If the styles of your publicity pieces are radically different, it can be confusing, and women may even think they’re looking at different events.
Are you launching or revamping your women’s ministry? Do you struggle to get your women’s ministry team on the same page? My book, Rethinking Women’s Ministry: Biblical, Practical Tools for Cultivating a Flourishing Community, is designed to help women’s ministry leaders and team members prayerfully examine what’s working and what isn’t. As God highlights the areas that need rethinking, you’ll be able to form an action plan that will enable your team to reach more women more effectively and create a community that flourishes. You’ll find Rethinking Women’s Ministry on Amazon, your favorite online retailer, and at womensministrytoolboxshop.com.
Now we’ve hit a lot of basics, but I’ve got more creative publicity ideas I want to share with you.
1. Distribute save-the-date cards
I love to put them on paper. Some churches print them on magnets. List the next six months or years’ worth of events – just the date and the name of it.
You’ll find a post with more details on how to create save-the-date cards here.
2. Set up a registration table
Provide iPads that women can use to sign up online and paper options for those who prefer. Put out a bowl of chocolates and display photos or a slideshow on a laptop or tablet to create interest for your event.
3. Create a video for your event
Grab snippets from your speaker, photos or video from your retreat location, or testimonies from last year’s event. Make sure you offer a personal invitation in that video for your women to come.
Many years ago, we asked one of our pastors to help with our retreat promotion, and he filmed a video speaking to the men of our church.
I dug into the files, and I found the original script that I shared with the pastor. The final product was pretty close to this. He tweaked it a bit to better fit his personality.
I’ll post the original script below. I think you’ll find some inspiration in what we created, and you may want to do something similar in your church.
Pastor Harper: Men, it’s time we mobilize and take action! It’s come to my attention that the women of our church are planning an awesome retreat to North Myrtle Beach in November (show photo of hotel), and they won’t allow us to come along with them.
It’s just not fair!
Everybody knows Myrtle Beach is the Golf Capitol of the World! If anybody should be retreating to the beach, it should be the men of the church. (show shot of Pastor Harper putting)
Really, I can’t go just because I’m a guy?
They’re bringing in a special speaker for the weekend, [speaker name]. (show still of speaker) She’s going to talk about people in the Bible who discovered that God is Good to the Last Drop. Makes me thirsty just thinking about it! (have Pastor Harper re-enter next scene with a water bottle in hand and take a swig)
Guys, it’s just not fair that they won’t let us tag along with them. They’re going to all come back wearing their matching t-shirts, sharing inside jokes from the weekend, laughing at things we’ll never understand. I want a goodie bag filled with really cool stuff!
Even the timing is perfect. It starts Friday evening, continues Saturday – with free time in the afternoon – and then they finish up Sunday morning in time to be back for Sunday night activities. I could get at least two rounds of golf in if I time it right! (cleaning a club) You know they’re not packing any golf clubs; apparently they take up too much room…I heard some mumbling about shopping at the outlet malls and needing space to bring back all the bargains they snag.
As if that’s not enough, I’ve got two words for you – Alabama Theater. The entire group is attending the Christmas show at the Alabama Theater Saturday night, and the tickets are included in the cost. And we can’t go, just because we’re guys…
And the cost – it’s a great deal – just $175 for the whole weekend. I could almost spend that on the take-out food the kids, and I will eat while my wife’s away.
To top it off, I’ve heard a rumor that’s probably not even true but has yet to be denied; supposedly, Pastor Kevin and Pastor James (flash photo) will be performing a special interpretative dance on Saturday morning. (big pause) I’ve got to be honest; I probably don’t want to see that…
The speaker’s going to be great, the music fabulous, and the fellowship will be awesome. Ladies, please go, have an amazing time, just please don’t rub it in too much when you get back.
Flash still – Register now – registrations and all payments are due October 1st.
We had a lot of fun with that. And as I said, Pastor Harper tweaked it a bit to better fit how he speaks and his personality. It was a huge hit and really grabbed the attention of the people in our church! We were able to get it shown right before the worship service started.
Let’s wrap things up with today’s toolbox tasks.
Today’s Toolbox Tasks:
- Print out the publicity form and distribute it to your team members.
- Brainstorm at least one new and creative way your team will publicize your next event or activity.
Publicity doesn’t have to be boring. It can be creative and fun, but it’s most important that our publicity is effective.
I hope you’ll take all these tips that have been shared and put them together.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. Please make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss any future episodes. May the grace of God carry you through difficult ministry seasons, may he direct your steps as you seek to make Him known, and may your love for the Lord be apparent to every woman you serve.
You may also want to read:
Publicity Form (Free Printable)
13 Ways to Publicize Events Inside Your Church
13 More Ways to Publicize Events Inside Your Church
25 Ways to Publicize Events Outside of Your Church Walls
Women’s Ministry Email List Service Options
Why Women Need Save-the-Date Cards
How to Get Women to RSVP
Publicity Secret: Bathrooms
How to Create a Women’s Ministry Social Media Plan