In my seven years as the minister at Unity of Pensacola we have achieved some pretty impressive accomplishments. The ministry has taken great strides to not only spiritually empower the people who attend our services, classes and events, but we continue to move forward on the restoration of our 107-year-old building. As any minister knows, marketing skills are imperative to promoting and creating energy around your ministry and its success. One of the most strategic ways of doing this is found through the art of communications.
While many churches are getting onboard with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and finding it quite useful in their promotion work, some have found it necessary to maintain the use of their newsletter to be a huge part of communicating upcoming events. Online newsletters have become quite popular in today’s world of computer/techno-savvy ministries and to the conscious online users.
We attempted to save money on the production, printing and mailing cost of our hardcopy newsletter. We thought that if we uploaded the contents to our website, people would find it more accommodating to access the monthly publication at their convenience. Should they desire a printed issue, they could print a full-color or black-and-white version easily. In theory we thought we were being creatively thrifty and becoming more modernized in the process. In reality, we actually discovered that what we thought was a good idea was not working in our favor, but rather just the opposite.
Unity of Pensacola’s newsletter contained within each issue a self-addressed love-offering envelope for donations and tithes from those who may still be on the mailing list and not attending our services regularly. Most months the gifts that came in from those envelopes paid for the full production of the newsletter and then some. Once the newsletter went online, we became keenly aware that not only did those love offerings vanish, but suddenly attendance to services and special events did as well. Immediately the newsletter went back into full production with envelopes and the snail-mail reactivated. Printed newsletters do require more time and money to produce, but the use of both printed and online communication, social networking sites and word-of-mouth are priceless to the success of any organization and ministry.