Complete these marketing tasks to get your New Year off right

by | Jan 2, 2020 | Strategy

You did it. You made it through the crazy Christmas season! The New Year lays before you, like a fresh notebook waiting to be filled.

First, let’s do some tidying up. 

And THEN get big plans rolling for the upcoming year. You want your communications to RESONATE with your audience and cause them to take steps forward in their faith and relationships with one another.

Smaller church leaders can get this done in less than an hour! Leaders at larger churches may need more time, but you’ll find it’s time well spent. Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee, read over the list, and get your New Year started off great!

Update top of your site’s homepage
(Estimated time: 5 minutes)

Not sure who needs to see this. But it’s time to take down the Christmas service info off your website. Grab your visitor welcome info from before Christmas (assuming it’s still readily available) and pop that back into place.

Bonus: Now’s a great time to see if you can freshen up that first image or if any other information needs a tweak.

Related, if you pinned your Christmas service info to the top of your Facebook page, here’s your reminder to unpin that too.

Update copyright notice to reflect the new year
(Estimated time: 5 minutes)

If you copyright your website content, be sure to update the copyright year. Some websites do this automatically on the backend. Others require you to go in manually and update. The extent to which this legally protects you varies by how much protection your church needs, and it’s always good to be aware of these things.

Your copyright year also serves as a sign to visitors how “fresh” you keep your website content. You can update the photos and ensure all of the service info is correct. However, a copyright year of 2016 calls all of that into question. It can create doubt about accuracy, and potentially how well everything is run at an organizational level.

Bonus: Some email service providers, like MailChimp, have this in their template, and you may not have even noticed! Check your email footer and update your copyright year here as well (if necessary). Or take care of it forever – see if you can have the year update automatically. 

Set a date for Christmas review meeting
(Estimated time: 5 minutes)

Most people come back to the regular workweek schedule by the first full week of January. Before any more time goes by, be sure to do a review of the Christmas season promotions. Celebrate what went well! Review where things fell short. Come up with ideas on what to do differently next time. Have it all captured and distribute those notes to key leaders and players so that when planning starts again in the fall, it will be there.

Set dates for event planning kickoffs
(Estimated time: 10 minutes)

The next big thing always seems so far away, and yet how often do we say, “it snuck up on me!”

After years of doing major promotion planning, we’ve found that three months allows you enough time to plan, strategize, and execute your promotion. You’ll have the space to allow the creativity to flow, time to assess necessary resources, make adjustments – and still get everything else done!

Here when to put those kickoffs on your 2020 calendar, three months out:

  • Easter kickoff meeting: week of January 13
  • Mother’s Day kickoff meeting: week of February 10
  • VBS kickoff meeting: this will vary, depending on when your church holds your VBS. For the sake of example, if your church has VBS the first week after Father’s Day, you’re looking at kickoff the week of March 23. Adjust as necessary for your calendar and VBS date.

Bonus: Looking to make event outreach more effective? Check out our free Event Outreach Blueprint to both get people there and get them coming back again!

Collect materials that need updates
(Estimated time: 15 minutes, varies by church size)

This one is a two-parter. Now that you’ve updated those dates and put meetings on the calendar, it’s time to take a walk around the church and look at the printed materials sitting out for guests and members alike. If your church is small, this likely won’t take too long. Larger, multi-level churches will, of course, take longer.

For this first part, what you’re looking for here is outdated materials or anything not used, and take a copy back with you. Some helpful identifiers are:

    • The content says 2019. Or earlier!
    • Dust on the paper. If there’s dust, no one has touched it. It’s either not in the right spot or not helpful. 
    • Mentions people or locations that have changed.
    • Mentions classes/ministries no longer offered, or that otherwise changed.
    • Old images/graphics.

Tip: For large churches, make a note of where you found each piece so you can remember later on! Also, note if you see the same piece elsewhere throughout the church.

For the second part, prioritize what to update and set deadlines. You may decide to do this by timeliness, the size/importance of the ministry, etc. If you have a team, get everyone’s input and see what you can delegate. Set a deadline for each piece to update, print, and redistribute.

Bonus (and affiliate link): Don’t let graphics stop you from updating materials. If you need an extra hand, check out the crew at Church Media SquadBuying from this link is a win-win, as you’ll get a 14-day free trial, and we’ll receive some compensation. We only recommend the best!

By taking these steps at the beginning of the new year, you’ll allow time for more effective communications that RESONATE with time to both think strategically and creatively.  

Move faster and improve your church communications efforts to spread the gospel. Learn how churches like yours can partner with the Firm Foundations Marketing team!