Office of Communications
Info/Guidelines for Event Promotion
Having a great event is, well, great! And to make that happen, every leader knows the importance of having a solid plan. Laying out the details (who’s helping, where’s it happening, etc.) is the key to success.
From a communication perspective, a solid plan helps ensure all the hard work you and your team have put in is maximized with great attendance and participation. To make that happen, planning a communication schedule is essential. This is one of the core purposes of the office of communications. We’re here to help make sure you get all the coverage, and all the assistance, you need.
Where do you start?
A great first step is to click the dropdown below and fill out a new communication request.
This detailed form will walk you through answering many of the questions that come up in the process of developing a communication plan. You can see all the promotion options available to you, and you can select those options that are most helpful for your particular event. If you need online registration pages, this form will also guide you through providing information for those pages, too.
When should you begin planning event promotion?
Two things that can limit event participation are promoting too late, and promoting too early. People need adequate time to plan to attend, but not so much notice that they forget your event is happening. Repeating the same announcement for two months in the Parish Weekly is going to lead to your information being glossed over or ignored completely.
To keep that from happening, here are some general timelines to follow:
Two – three months before the event
- Fill out the new communication request to start the process of creating a promotion schedule.
- Schedule a “save the date” email (or mailing if appropriate)
- Decide what information you need to collect from participants. If you need registration forms or online registration, now is the time to begin creating those tools.
- Set an R.S.V.P. date if necessary. (Typically one week prior to the event for headcounts only, 10-14 days prior if meal planning is required.)
One – two months before the event
- Based on the size of your event, or the commitment required from participants (i.e., multiple-day events like Kanuga or VBS) regular promotion for up to two months might make sense. If this is the plan, make sure there are a number of details that can be highlighted. (i.e., each week’s promo might feature a different highlight of the event).
Four weeks before the event
- Begin promoting in weekly church communications (Parish Weekly, Christ Church eNews)
- Send out an eBlast to potential participants (whole parish or targeted segment of the congregation) if necessary
- Begin promotion on social media (Facebook event, twitter, etc.)
Two weeks before the event
- If eBlasts are being used and R.S.V.P. is required, send final eBlast reminder to sign up.
Week of the event
- Send out an eBlast reminder (if necessary) to the parish or targeted segment of the congregation
- Send out an email reminder to participants who have registered (the communications office can send this, or provide the event planner with a participant list)
- Highlight the event in the Friday Christ Church Weekly eNews
Remember, these are very general guidelines, meant to serve as a starting point as you begin to plan your event. Each event can, and should, have a tailored communication plan based on the goals and needs of the person or group planning that event.
As you begin the process, the best place to start is by having a conversation. To talk about your specific needs, contact the Director of Communications by email or by calling the church.
Christ Church has a number of weekly communications designed to reach the entire parish, and lots of other methods that can be targeted to a specific demographic within the parish community. In order to create publications that best serve this large audience, there are a few deadlines that must be kept each week. These are designed not to limit inclusion, but to ensure that there’s adequate time to format and polish each piece of information that is sent out.
For all types of communications, whether a general announcement or an event communication, the best place to start is by submitting a new communication request. This form, by asking a number of questions related to your event or announcement, will help to design a communication schedule specifically for your program.
That said, here are the general deadlines for regular Christ Church publications:
- Parish Weekly (printed, in-bulletin): Monday for publication on the following Sunday
- Christ Church Weekly: Wednesday for publication on Friday
- E-Blast for your Event: Three days prior to requested send date
- News Article on Website: One – two days prior to requested publish date
- Facebook/Instagram/Twitter Update: Generally available to post same-day
- Christ Church Epistle (Magazine): The Epistle is printed annually, released on Homecoming Sunday (Late August). If you have an idea for an Epistle story, contact the Director of Communications.
If you’re sending information for publication, and you’re not using the communication request form, or if you have any general questions about publication deadlines, please email the Director of Communications, or call the church (919.834.6259).