The Plan of Campaign

We will be running three adverts in the ‘chat show’ format. They will focus on Mary, Gabriel and the Donkey. We think they’re all good both in terms of humour and hook – they each introduce an element of the Christmas story that we could build on…

The adverts will be given a tag which will link to our own local web site which can be reached as ChristmasMK or MKChurches. This web site already contains links to local church web sites, and it will soon include details of Christmas services.

Obviously, we still need to raise money to pay for the adverts, but if we beat our target we have a couple of plans…

Plan A is to spend around £500 on web advertising. Heart will offer us a good deal on this and it would be good to see how much impact this would have.

If we raise any more than that, we will put any surplus to one side so we have a little bit in the pot for Easter. We’re already looking at a rather good advert that is already cleared for transmission…

 

Raising the Money

The target for this years campaign is £2,800, which will pay for the airtime plus the small cost of producing our own tag.

In order to raise this money, churches will need to work together. We succeeded last year because of the commitment of churches and the generosity of a few individuals. If we are going to do the same this year – and expand our campaign to Easter – we will need to do the same.

I can’t give you set figures per church, but here is a rough guide based on last year:

Large Churches: There are a number of larger churches in MK who have given £200 or more. This makes a real difference and we couldn’t do any of this without them. If just fourteen churches gave £200 we would reach our target very quickly…

Small Churches: But there were also a number of smaller churches (particularly in rural areas) who gave £25. We really appreciate how difficult finances can, so this was really generous.

Most churches will be somewhere in between, and the truth is that we can only succeed in a project like this if we work together. We need each other if we are to speak to our City and Borough with one voice.

The Mission Partnership is handling the money and will accept cheques or direct payments.

Please use ChristmasMK as the reference, and let us know how much you are planning to give, so I can see how things are going!

 

What Next?

The web site is ready to go, so I will need your information soon. We want to tell people how they can find out more by going to their ‘local Christian Church’ so send your information to me and I’ll out it on the web site.

For each event, I need:

  • Title – Pick a title that make sense to visitors not just to Church people!
  • Date and Time – Obvious I know, but needs to be said…
  • Venue – Is it in your church building or somewhere else? Please give full details if it’s not in your normal building!
  • Image – A picture is worth a thousand word – and is absolutely crucial for a visual web site. Just a picture of your church would be better than nothing!
  • Description – The past couple of years have shown how crucial this is! You need to tell people what they are coming to, or your ad will make no sense. People need more than ‘communion’ or ‘Christingle’. These words make sense to church people but can be meaningless to visitors.

 

And More…

When I get more information, I’ll pass it on, but there are a couple of things coming up that might interest you:

Silent Night: Hope, Tearfund, Sports Chaplaincy UK and ChristmasStartswithChrist are promoting the idea of carol services linked to the first Christmas in the trenches when soldiers stopped fighting and sang carols and played football instead. See http://www.silentnightcarols.org/ for more information about this…

Worship Resources: There will also be worship resources for churches to use linked to the radio adverts. They will be available on the ChristmasStarts web site, but I’ll make sure they appear on ours too…

Finally…

The good people of ChurchAds are very impressed with the way we have worked together in Milton Keynes. The thing that they would most like us to do is use the Christmas Starts logo as much as possible. It doesn’t cost us anything, but gives a joined-up message to the people of Britain. Even if you don’t support the radio adverts, you can still do your bit…

All the best,
Tim

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