As we plan special events and opportunities for women in our churches and communities, promotion is an essential part of the process. Today we will look at some of the basics principles of creating effective promotional pieces.
Promotion techniques help maintain successes and reverse failures. Its principles and techniques are closely related to advertising. Promotion grabs attention, appeals to emotions, and persuades you try the product or service.
An effective principle is repetition. Put your message in simple terms and choose several mediums to convey the message to your target audience. Before choosing a medium ask, Why am I promoting? Promotion—pro means yes and motion means move. Convey in a split second good reasons to consider participation. Sprinkle logistics (what, when, where) only after you hook them with a benefit.
Five Principles of Promotion
- Size: Can people see it? Size matters and helps you keep things simple. Allow between 30-50 percent of promotion space for the heading, catch phrase, or main idea. For example, the front panel of a brochure mailed in a regular business envelope should be dedicated to the main idea. While that may be only one of six panels in the brochure, it is the most important.
- Hook ’em: Read magazines, newspapers, and Internet articles for attention catching phrases—not to cheapen the gospel but to grab attention and create an opportunity for women to hear the gospel.
- Show Me: People will read the ad if you can stop them for one second.
- Less Is More: Ask a friend to edit.
- Extremes Work: Advertising and promotion ride fashion waves and frequently are extreme or edgy. Peruse magazines targeted at people 25 and younger. Color, fonts, and presentation are up for grabs
Key Elements of a Promotional Plan
- Graphics—A graphic is any item reduced to its simplest form and still recognized. Ask, What will grab and hold my attention in one second? Otherwise, it is ignored, overlooked, or trashed. Select images that support your message and are understandable.
- Typeface, size, and treatment—Once we look, word placement moves us to find out more. Resist all caps. Use more than one typeface or mix handwriting with computer print. Vary sizes of titles, headers, subheaders, lists, and text. Choose a font that looks good when photocopied. Avoid enhancing with cuties. Limit bold, italic, script, and centering.
- Layout and Design—The two most read magazine corners are the upper right and bottom left. Most magazines provide choice statements in large print intermittently across the page(s). Use flush left/ragged right margins in brochures and flyers and white-space (areas void of treatment). Consider what can be left out rather than added. If you could use only one phrase/graphic, what would it be? What would a second sentence be? A few words and an arresting visual are more powerful than many words.
- Medium or Media—Where will your message be received? in public? At home? in familiar surroundings? Can it be delivered in multiple media, such as posters, newsletters, bulletin inserts, Web site, Facebook, or announcements? Combine media for a greater impact. A sophisticated promotion event might include flyers mailed to the target audience. They contain some but not all of the information, and direct readers to look for posters at the church or event site. Posters provide more information, then direct readers to the Web site for more information.
- Placement/Environment–Place promotion in halls, doors, stairways, signs, and entrances. Include texting, Facebook, newsletters, flyers, and email.
- Time—Time can become a design element when you plan a progressive release of information. Begin drafting ideas 10-12 weeks ahead and implementing them 6-8 weeks away.
Always have someone serve as a second pair of eyes and ears. If a person cold to the idea can read or hear it and get the message, you have a good idea. If not, ask her for suggestions to make it clearer. Make the changes and get a reaction from another person.
How do you approach promotion for your events? Share your ideas in the comments section below!