“Change something significant about the appearance of your church at least once a month.” –Standard advice from church marketing experts.
First Unitarian in New Bedford sits right at a busy intersection, the corner of Union and County streets. While you’re waiting on Union Street for the traffic light to change, your car is right next to a huge building made out of granite, with a sign saying “First Unitarian Church.” Yet over and over again, newcomers tell us, “You know, I’ve driven by this building for years and never really noticed it.”
We need to follow advice straight out of Church Marketing 101: change something about the appearance of our site and/or building every month, something significant enough that people will notice our building. Otherwise, our building blends in and becomes just another unnoticed historic building in historic downtown New Bedford.
Problem is, we have very little in the budget for this kind of thing. Even so, we have already managed to plan a few things that won’t strain our budget:
- April: We hung new signs on our fence. The new signs are easier to read, and they (finally) have our Web site URL prominently displayed. Due to budget constraints, we had to go with relatively inexpensive plastic signs which we plan to replace in another fiscal year.
- May: We’re planting bright spring flowers under the new signs.
- June: We planted Dutch iris bulbs that should start flowering in June.
We’re also going to take a look at our other sign that’s right at the intersection of County and Union — maybe we’ll wind up hanging smaller seasonal signs under it, or perhaps displaying a rainbow flag for a month. It’s going to take some creativity to come up with ten or twelve inexpensive ways to change the appearance of our site and building!