The Grassiest of Roots

There’s no marketing like word of mouth.  Seriously.  Remember Napoleon Dynamite?  Ever remember seeing a commercial for it when it was at the theater?  Neither do I.  However, I do remember everyone talking about it.  You couldn’t go a full day without hearing someone quote a line from that movie.  In fact, I remember people quoting lines from the film that never even watched it.  Word of mouth made that movie a huge success and those involved with it stars.

In church marketing, word of mouth can make an event a success.  The opposite is true too.  If the word on the street is that no one is going, then no one will.  So how do you generate the buzz you need?  What does it take to get word of mouth, grass roots marketing working for you?  I’ll give you a hint: it doesn’t happen by accident and it takes more than a few phone calls from you.

1. Make sure your leaders are there.  When leaders, staff members, and even board members get on board make attendance at events part of their commitment or covenant.  If the expectation is set forth in advance, and the value of their support is communicated, then you know they’ll be there and it will be a tremendous asset to your grass roots campaign.  Also, make it easy for them to be a part by not charging them for events or giving them a significant discount.

2. Make sure your support staff or student leadership is there.  Again, see what I wrote above.  This applies to your student council, worship team, etc.

3. Get your key influencers there.  This is huge.  These are the people others follow but are not necessarily in positions of leadership.  You know who they are.  Go after them personally!  If they’re not planning on going, find out why and start removing the excuses.  If they don’t have the money, offer to pay.  Let them know how much they’re appreciated and how much it would mean for you to have them there.

4. Distribute lists. Divide your group into manageable sized lists for your leaders to contact personally and invite to the event.  A personal invitation is worth more than all the fliers in the world!  Ask your key inluencers if they’d be interested in helping with this too.  Make sure that invitations are in person or over the phone and NOT by text, email or Facebook.

5. Social media.  Get everyone you know who’s going to start tweeting it, posting it, and sharing it.

This isn’t a definitive list but it should get you started.  Remember to personally stay positive and enthusiastic about your event.  If you’re not pumped about it, no one else will be either!

Good luck!

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