Ministry conferences and events abound more than ever! While it is wonderful to see so many take an interest in worship arts training, there are some common courtesies that should fall into place when getting the word out about events.
Here are a few of my personal suggestions for advertising protocol:
Consider Your Target Audience
Is your e-mail list primarily worship artists and supporters? If not, a separate mailing list may need to be created so that the reader receives items of interest that is of specific interest to them. For instance, if I am not a bowler and I keep getting multiple e-mails about a bowling league, I may either delete the e-mail or stop opening e-mails from that particular sender entirely. If I am really feeling overloaded by an individual, I may mark the message as SPAM.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
If there is no new news to report about an event, it may not make sense to send out multiple e-mails on the same day or even over a short time period. We want people to be excited about our events, but not feel as though we are trying to "hustle" them out of their money. We also do not want to leave the impression that we have an ulterior motive. If there is a new development or important announcement to make, it may be a good idea to let prospective attendees know. If not, who wants to read the same information over and over again?
Social Networking Sidebar:
If using MySpace or a smiliar social networking site, posting multiple bulletins in a row may be unsettling as well to someone not associated with the event. Multiple bulletin postings give a sense of desperation and appear as though the main focus of the poster is for personal gain. Oversaturating the board with personal posts pushes other information out of view. While that may be the goal of some posters, it also undermines the sharing efforts of others. Spreading them out over a period of time may serve as a reminder without appearing to be greedy. Posting comments of extremely large flyers or dance ministry videos on as many pages as possible may also raise some eyebrows... Not being considerate can get you deleted as a "friend."
Don't Be Pushy!
If someone is attending your event as a presenter or dancer, it may be a good idea for them to share it with others who may wish to join them. This choice should remain up to the individual. The invited individual may also need to consider his or her network and remain considerate as well. Blatantly demanding that someone send event information to his or her entire e-mail list may not only be offensive, but downright pushy. It may be especially questionable when the person receiving the email is not on the program, not in the area of the activity, and may not endorse your particular event.
While we pray that we will receive maximum support for the events that we host, we must pray for Divine wisdom when promoting our gatherings. We must allow the Lord to raise us up in season, and also accept when it may not be time for us to have a multitude of people with us. We must trust God and not lean on people to sustain us. No one wants to feel bombarded with "junk mail" at home, in an inbox or online.
Tips for Success
Faithfulness in ministry yields results. If we are faithful over a few things, we will be made ruler over much. Showing success in the ability to handle small and medium-sized events with excellence will cause others to spread the word and bring even more people to experience what we have to offer. Advertising alone does not guarantee a great turnout. Jesus was followed by thousands as a result of the fruit of His ministry. Millions still follow Him today. The church in Acts grew out of word-of mouth. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will lift up Jesus, and He will do the drawing.
New King James Version
Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you.
For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.