How do you get people to talk about your ministry? More importantly, how do you get people to talk positively about your ministry? Why not find a few answers from the world of marketning…
Guy Kawasaki posted 9 types of stories people talk about, by Lois Kelly, author of Beyond Buzz.
I’ve taken the 9 stories that get people talking and narrowed them down.
1. Aspirations and beliefs. “More than any other topic, people like to hear about aspirations and beliefs. (This may be why religion is the most popular word-of-mouth topic, ever.)” If this is true, we should be getting people to talk about our ministries by talking about what we believe and who we want to become.
2. David vs. Goliath. We, as the church, have this one covered. We, sinners, are the underdogs up against a penalty for our sins we can’t pay for. But we are overcomers – thanks to Jesus Christ. Let people hear how a student has overcome an addiction. Share stories of life change. People are drawn to the stories which give them hope.
3. Avalanche about to roll. If you have a plan/vision for you ministry, share bits of it early. Give people enough info to get them wanting to share it before everyone hears. What better way to advertise than to get the “gossip hounds” to spread the word for you?
4. How-to stories and advice. Help people find that connection between the Word of God and their everyday life. Show people how to handle stress in their life, how to have a happy marriage, how to raise their kids, how to handle finances, how to ______________. If you give them good advice, they’ll talk about it at work, at the park, at school.
5. Seasonal/event-related. This is one tip that most churches handle at least twice a year (Easter/Christmas). But do not limit it to just those two times a year. In youth ministry, you also have beginning/ending of school, sports, prom. Take advantage of the parades and other community events. Be a part of big events in your town and do something special or out-of-the-ordinary.
6. Glitz and glam. Last, it doesn’t hurt to get a celebrity to start attending your church.
Beyond these tips, make your ministry a place for people to feel safe and accepted. Students and adults will talk about those two things every chance they get. Be a ministry that cares for people – I don’t just mean being a ministry that talks about it, but one that acts on it.
What do you think? Besides these tips, what else have you done that has caused people to talk about your ministry?