Small Town Radio: A Cost Effective Opportunity
Many people gifted in marketing and advertising live in large cities and it is easy to forget that most of our churches (even in new work areas) are located in small towns with small town newspapers and low power radio stations. In these towns, to hear about local news and events everyone listens to those stations. Hispanic (and other language stations), including those in major cities work like a small towns. Radio Ads can be purchased on local radio stations very reasonably.
We’ve tied radio ads to special outreach events. In Tallassee, we used Thom Rainer’s research in developing scripts for promoting Back to Church Sunday. For example, we have a back to church Sunday on the day of the fall time change and promote the special day explaining, With the extra hour of sleep, it’s a great day to get started back in Sunday School and church.
Engage the Self-Sufficient: Often evangelistic media campaigns are designed to reach those who are at a low point in life. And for a good reason, only those who feel their lostness will sense their need of a Savior. The problem is, when we repeatedly offer “hope” and when the self-sufficient hear these ads, it makes the Christian faith sound like it’s only for the most pathetic losers. I maintain that we could design thought-provoking ads, use humor, and challenge the thinking of unbelief. Small towns will allow more explicit Christian content along that line. It puts you into the car with people who will not attend your services or allow you within arm’s reach.
A Sample Script to Illustrate the Concept:
Chuck: You know Barry, I don’t believe in organized religion.
Barry: Is that right? Just last week, I went to a funeral for a cousin who felt the same way.
Chuck: Well, how did that go?
Barry: There were about ten people there. When we buried my cousin on the other side of the family, the one who went to church, the chapel was full. The church fed the family a meal and were really there for them.
Chuck: That was real nice.
Barry: You know, Chuck, at church, we have a Disaster Relief Team that gets trees off of peoples’ houses after tornados and hurricanes. We also have people who work in a mobile kitchen to feed people in those places since their power is out.
Chuck: That’s a good thing.
Barry: Chuck, what’s your disorganized religion of your’s doing to help people?
Additional Sample Topics:
- Religion is a crutch
- Christians are arrogant to claim that all other religions are wrong
- But if Jesus really did rise from the dead…
- If we are all just cosmic accidents, can you live with the implications?
- Even if there were no practical benefits to being a Christian, you owe God. Our praise is due to God. For some, past due.
- The Christian faith is judgmental and negative
- Hypocrites in the church
Integrated Marketing Communications: All the radio spots, newspaper ads, and Internet banner ads could use the same theme, color scheme, and graphic art. The various media would be used in coordination to mutually reinforce each other.
Example of a good theme: It’s Time to Come Home.