Our chapter uses several traditional vehicles, such as news releases introducing chapter leaders and community programs, articles and photo opps that detail supplemented events, asking community service teams to include Thrivent in their event publicity, holding chapter elections in each church, giving seed money to each congregation that sends coordinators to a training event (with the condition that the money be used to sponsor a "Thrivent event" at their church).
While we'll certainly continue to do these "splatter"-type promotions, we're finding that the most effective publicity/promotion are the ones that somehow touch individuals directly (as opposed to something posted or that benefits an entire group). We offered a community-wide subsidization of tickets for the "Luther" movie last fall and even months later, people still remember that we paid for part of their tickets. We sent the 40 members of the clergy in our chapter $10 with a letter thanking them for their hard work in our churches and asking them to go to the "passion of the Christ" compliments of our chapter; this is remembered and appreciated. We also have individuals remember that we had a booth at our county fair--we think it's because there were FAs and chapter members there to answer the questions they had (as opposed to reading newsletters for info that we think they want to know) and hey, they got free Thrivent cups filled with popcorn too...
I think the trick is to figure out the most cost-effective ways for our publicity dollars to touch individuals and minimize the "billboard" approach. Too many people don't think what we offer matters to them until someone taps them on the shoulder with an opportunity.
In the New Haven CT County we havae several ways fo trying to promote our activities and our Chapter to the Chapter membership.
After determining, in mid 2003, that the use of email to communicate to our congregational Pastors and /Coordinators was not going to be efficetive for our Chapter we developed a monthly news letter that is sent to all Pastors and Congregational Coordinators. The letter includes the minutes of the last Chapter meeting, the location, date, and time of the next Chapter Meeting, a listing of the CAC activities, with dates, times, places, and a brief description of the activities for the near term, information that we feel is important for them to know, IE about Join Hands Day, and anything that we feel is important that they know about concerning our local policies and guidelines for CAC activity approval and funding. We also encourage all members to attend the Chapter Leadership Monthly meetings. We rotate the monthly meetings across the congregations in our Chapter to make them easily available to all members. We have sent mailings to all members and have held our local/national elections last year in 10 churches throughout the Chapter to promote participation and ownership of the election. We have approved, and will shortly implement, monthly sponsorship of Fellowhip programs, "Coffee Hours", in our Chapter congregations following Sunday worship services. The progaram will rotate to a different congregation each month, with at least one representative of the leadership board present to interact with the congregational members to answer questions and address issues that may arrise. We are actively recruiting Congregational Coordinator establishment in our few remaining non-participating congregations with an objective of 100% participation by year end. We held a kick off celebration meeting at the beginning of the year, for our Congregational Coordinators and all Chapter Pastors, and ivited Regional staff and Thrivent FA's, to review the first years accomplishments and to thank all for their efforts and contributions. We are planning a mid summer picnic for our Coordiantors and Pastors to again recognise and thank them and give them the opportunity to ask questions and enjoy each others company and fellowship.
We will look to use the local news papers and other media this year to promote our Chapter throughout our County.