Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
We talk a lot on Xpiritmental about communications from a web perspective. Topics like web development, web design, content development and organizational structure are often what our posts gravitate towards.
But it would be wrong to assume that just because we talk so much about web and online communications that we don’t also care very much about more traditional communications mediums such as print ads, radio ads, brochures and billboards. Those are still very much a part of the work that we do here.
I suppose that a big part of the reason that online communications get more face-time on this blog than traditional communications is because, well, traditional communications are already embedded in most of our minds as solid tools, whereas social media strategy such as blogging and Twitter are tools that many in the faith community still approach with skepticism.
That said, I wanted to take the opportunity with today’s post to highlight the fact that print is in fact not dead. While online methods of communicating do have their strengths that do give them a significant edge over traditional communications, it’s important that we continue to augment those initiatives with more traditional advertising. Why? Because there are still loads of people out there who don’t even know what blogging is. Additionally, having a multi-pronged approach to your communications will help reinforce your messaging. Just as I said in a previous post about social media, it’s still important to augment your online interactions with in-person interactions. Similarly, traditional mediums for communications are a great way to interact with your audience where they live.
It’s a number of years ago now, but one of our clients had us do a billboard, brochures and a website for his church – all of which were based on the same theme and targeted to a specific audience that he had identified in his area. The results of that integrated campaign were amazing. The churches attendance grew 277% and many individuals specifically cited that they ended up at the church by having seen the billboard, gotten home and headed to the website (the URL of which they got from the billboard) and then went and visited the church where brochures and even more importantly, a church congregation that supported the messaging could be found.
Perhaps the day is coming where it will be difficult, if not impossible to justify a television or a print ad for your ministry – kind of like direct mail pieces are impossible to justify today (given that they typically garner a less than 1% response rate). But for the time being, that’s not the case and so I’d encourage you to think about ways in which you could be helping to broaden the impact of your communications through traditional communications mediums like print.