The Heritage Quartet of Lancaster, SC
  "Carrying On A Tradition"
  
 
 

Helpful Hints

Here Is An In Depth Look At A Gospel Music Events
(Please keep in mind these are ideas compiled from several media sources and may not be suitable for every event.)
Gospel Music Promotions,

Welcome to the world of Gospel Music. By joining in this ministry as a Local Promoter, you have become a critical part of sharing the word of God to many who choose to otherwise never open their hearts and minds to His message. Through dedication, time and work you can see souls added to the family of God. Your part in this ministry cannot be overstated nor can those of us involved in the Gospel Music Industry adequately express our appreciation for your help.

In this material we will share with you proven methods for "getting the word out" and increasing the attendance at services and concerts. Keep in mind that these same methods can be used with many other Church and Christian functions. You will find that by using this manual you will be much more productive with your valuable time. By dedicating 2 ½ hours a week or only 30 minutes a day to promoting the upcoming service or concert you will see tremendous results measured not only in attendance but decisions made for the Lord.

Index
Forward: Time of Prayer
1. Word of Mouth
2. Radio Advertisement
3. Newspaper Advertisement
4. Posters
5. Flyers
6. Marquees
7. Churches
8. Television Advertisement
9. Comp. Tickets
10. Bulletin Inserts
11. E-mail/Social Media
12. Comments and Suggestions


Forward
"Time of Prayer"

First and foremost, begin praying for your upcoming service. Encourage your folks to pray for this special service every day. You may even want to assemble in small groups and meet once a week for a special prayer as a group. This group can be as big or as small as you'd like. Also, add this special service to your church prayer list. This is the most important thing you could do to ensure the success of this service. Please make prayer a priority for this upcoming event.

Chapter 1
"Word Of Mouth"

You can ask just about any advertising or promotional executive and they will tell you that the best form of advertising is "Word Of Mouth". Nothing quite sticks with you like the spoken word. It is also the fastest form of exponential communication. By this I mean the number of people that a particular message passes through grows geometrically with time. For instance, John tells ten people who each tell ten people who each tell ten people and so on . . . Look at the picture below to see how this works. And so on, and so on, and so on . . .


So let's start at the church. One month before the event challenge the members of the
Church to invite at least 10 people each. Treat it like High Attendance Sunday and invite all of the family and friends. "Remember that the invitation is to a concert not a sermon". Pass out a "Persons To Invite" checklist. Encourage each person to fill it out today and then carry it with them and check off the names as they are invited. Ask each person to follow up the invitation with a phone call the week prior to the event as a gentle reminder. Most people will just plain forget if not reminded.

Remember that the best form of advertising is "Word Of Mouth". This is your first focus
because it does bring the best results for your work.

Chapter 2
"Radio Advertisement"

The number one medium for any kind of music today is Radio. The average person will hear more music in one day on the radio then all the music they will hear at concerts for a year. This includes Gospel Music as well. Every city, town and community has a radio station. Every radio station has thousands of listeners. You will want to work with one or more radio stations to reach those people. Below are a few things to know when considering radio advertising?

Contact the Program Manager - Depending on the size of the radio station you will
want to first contact the Program Manager or Music Director. These individuals will help you get the information that you need to advertise the event.

Cost of Spots - In most cases the radio station will have a minimal fee for running your announcement. These announcements are called spots. Radio spots are generally sold in groups. Each station has packages of spots to choose from. Prices are usually determined by the time slot in which you want to run them. Morning and afternoon drive times are typically the premium times.

Public Service Announcements - Public Service Announcements are free. Each station is required by law to offer so many PSA's as a service to the community. Announcements of functions held at a church are usually announced as PSA's. In some cases our prerecorded 15, 30 and 60-second spots do not qualify as PSA's. However some stations will run the as PSA's for the church.

Prerecorded Spots - In order to assist you in presenting a professional image for the event, make a prerecorded 15, 30 and 60 second generic announcements. The spots can be followed by the announcer or DJ giving the details as to where, when and what time.

Pre-concert On-Air Interviews - A very effective tool to cap off a promotional
campaign is an on-air interview a few hours prior to the concert. If there is a radio station that plays gospel music in your area contact the music director or on-air personality (DJ) to arrange for the interview. Most stations will jump at the chance to have groups live on their program. If you are going to sponsor a live radio interview, please notify the artist in plenty of time before the concert to allow time to plan for the interview.

Give-Aways - You can inform the radio station that we will be happy to bring free
product to be given away by the station during the interview or at their discretion.

Playing Our Music - We will be happy to provide you with CD's for airplay on your program.


Chapter 3
"Newspaper Advertisements"

Another very effective means of advertising the upcoming event is the newspaper. I can
tell you that for years the most well attended concerts that we have had were advertised in the newspaper. While we do live in an electronic age most people like to sit and read their newspapers. Depending upon your approach to the newspaper company, advertising a gospel concert can be very affordable and in many cases free. Here are some pointers when considering advertising in the newspaper.


Religious Editor - Most newspapers have a religious editor. This is the person who
writes and informs the papers reader of church and religious happenings in the
community. This person is someone you want to get to know. They cannot only help you publicize this concert but help you and you church in the future with other events. You will also want to make sure that the religious editor is invited to the concert.

Community Calendar - Most newspaper publish a community calendar. This is a free listing of upcoming events and notices of public interest. Contact the paper and request a listing of the concert in the community calendar.

Paid Advertising - Depending on the type, size and location of an ad, it can start to cost a little. We have found that there are usually several Christian and even secular businesses in each community that are happy to sponsor a certain amount of advertising. In return for their support they receive mention in any and all ads. They will also be recognized and thanked at the concert for their generous support. The amount of support that they contribute is up to you. We have found that if you present a prospective supporter with several different options they are more open to contributing. For instance if you have already calculated the cost of printing, radio ads, newspaper ads, TV ads and such you can give them a choice of how they would like to be recognized.

Inserts - One way to get almost everyone who reads the newspaper is to place the ad in the form of an insert. An insert is a separate piece of paper usually a fluorescent color on which the ad is printed. The insert is then placed in the newspaper and catches the eye of the reader as the paper is opened.

Chapter 4
"Posters"

Since the beginning of traveling ministries the use of publicity posters have been one of
the primary means of announcing an up coming event. Posters can be very effective if
placed in the right places. You should be prepared with the right materials when you head out to put up posters i.e. tape, tacks, push pins and a razor blade. These materials should cover your needs when placing posters on most surfaces (please be careful with the razor blade). Always insist (as much as prudent) that you place the posters yourself. I can't begin to count the number of times that a store manager said, "Sure, just leave them there and I will put them up later". Unfortunately the posters were never put up and eventually thrown away. While their intentions I'm sure were good, let's face it, those posters mean more to you then they do to them. When placing a poster always make sure that it is placed at eye level. If it is placed too high or too low it will not be seen. If possible, always place them in the areas with the greatest amount of traffic.
Remember that it is always polite to return after the event and remove the posters. The
proprietors always appreciate this and it gives you an opportunity to thank them for their
help. It will also make it much easier for you to return and place future announcements
there. Below are just a few recommendations of places to put up posters.

Home Church
Area Churches
Bookstores
Area Businesses
Post Office
Bulletin Boards
Schools
RV Parks
Community Centers
Grocery Stores
Laundry Mats
Restaurants
Gas Station
Hotels/Motels
Retirement Homes

This type of publicizing is probably the most labor intensive. You might think about asking your youth pastor to see if the youth could help you to do this on a Saturday a couple of weeks prior to the concert.

Chapter 5
"Flyers"

Flyers are similar to posters with the exception that they are smaller and are placed in locations that tend to come into closer contact with people. A Bulletin Insert works great as a flyer also. Below are a few suggestions on places to use flyers.

Car Windshields
Doors
Grocery Bags Newspapers
Fast Food Drive-Thru
Retail Stores

Chapter 6
"Marquees"

There is just something about a marquee. Most people will turn their head to see what is written on a marquee. A marquee has always signified something or someone special. If you stop and think about it you can probably close your eyes and count several marquees in your area. You can do that because subconsciously you are looking at them each time you pass by. So let's use those marquees to further the gospel! Go to the businesses or organizations that have those marquees and see if they will announce your event. Chances are that most of them will be glad to help out.

Here are just a few of the more common places that use marquees.

Banks
Area Businesses
Schools
Home Church
Other Churches
Community Centers
Rental Units

I cannot underscore the importance of making sure that the concert is on the marquee of the host church. I have heard many times about people who had learned about a concert through other advertising and drove by the church to see where it was located only to find no mention
of the upcoming concert on the churches own marquee. Thinking that the concert was cancelled they did not return.

Chapter 7
"Churches"

What better place to find people who love gospel music than in church. I have learned that while many denominations have differences on theology most of them will encourage their members to attend a gospel concert so long as it does not conflict with their schedule of services. While we want to bring as many non-Christian people to the concert, the attendance of Christian people is a blessing to them and helps to meet the expenses of the concert. Here are some insights to the most common contacts that you will run into.

Pastors - What I have found that works well is going directly to the
decision-maker, "The Pastor". I know, I know many people say that you
should first contact the minister of music. Here is what will happen 99% of
the time if you do that first. You call or visit the minister of music and
show them that it will be a great event of ministry and fun. He then goes to
the pastor who is his boss with the idea. If the pastor does not receive it
well, THE END. The minister of music will not pressure the pastor to support the concert. However if you contact the pastor first and ask him to support the announcement of the concert he will either agree to do so or put it off on the music minister. If he puts it off to the music minister you simply say, "That's wonderful I will give __________a call. Can I tell him that you support this announcement? At that point most pastors will say yes. Now you can go to the minister of music with the Pastors endorsement. It usually flows very smoothly from that point on.

Music Ministers - See above.

Church Leaders - If you personally know leaders of other churches in your area they
are good sources to go to for help. Many times if you get the endorsement of one or more church leaders the pastor is very agreeable to supporting the concert even in another church.

Activity Directors - The genre of our music ministry is called Southern Gospel. This
style and the format of our presentation have been widely accepted all over the United
States. Ours is a music that is also loved by many senior citizens. Try contacting the
activities directors of retirement and nursing homes in your area. Many organizations
across the country have filled vans and busses with their residents to come and enjoy a
night of gospel music. It has been a treat for them and one that they greatly appreciate.

Youth Ministers - Don't count the young people out! While most of
today's youth listen mostly to more contemporary styles of music we have
found that the vast majority of them have enjoyed and been ministered to by
our music. The most powerful aspect of Southern Gospel music is that it
has a no compromising message. Remember that Christ said, "My word
would not return void unto me".

Senior Ministers - Remember to get the Seniors Minister involved. As stated earlier,
our music is greatly appreciated by the senior's age group.

Chapter 8
"Television Advertisements"


Television has probably done more to change and yes shape the world since it's inception than any other form of technology. A recent report stated that the average American home has 2.5 televisions in it. TV can really get the message out there and it really puts a stamp of credibility on whatever it is advertising. Many people think the TV is too expensive but there are ways of greatly reducing the cost or eliminating it all together.

Cable Community Calendar - If you have cable TV in your area may I suggest that
you contact the cable company? Most cable services provide a channel dedicated to
community announcements. Listings on these channels are usually free. Call the cable
company to find out what their requirements are.

Local Channel Community Calendar - Many local network affiliates such as ABC,
NBC or CBS include occasional public service announcements. Contact the local TV
station to inquire about listing this church affiliated event on their upcoming calendars.

Area Business Sponsored Spots - As with radio advertising, some businesses will
agree to sponsor TV advertising for the publicity that they will receive. The approach for
sponsorship of TV advertising is similar to that of radio advertising and should be
included with the different packages presented to local businesses or their consideration.

Church Sponsored Spots - Depending on the resources available to the church the
host church will consider sponsoring TV ads from time to time. This should be brought
up with the pastor and/or board.

Chapter 9
"Complimentary Tickets"

If you are like most people you like to get something free. If this is a ticketed event one of the ways that we have been able to increase the attendance at our concerts is to offer "Comp Tickets". Comp Tickets or complimentary tickets are given to members of the church to give away or as part of an incentive package (for every 10 tickets you sell we will give you one free ticket). It has been our experience that most people don't want to waste something of value also they will attend the concert as a favor to the one that gave then the ticket. We have walked through the pews and seats of churches that distributed Comp Tickets and found many of them left in the seats. This proved that the people that received the tickets did in fact attend the concert. The end result is that more people came and heard the word of God. You will soon be able to down load this template from our web site.

Chapter 10
"Bulletin Inserts"

Most churches have bulletins that are handed out every Sunday. This bulletin contains not only the order of the service for the day but also the upcoming events for the next week of two. Many churches have even created a bulletin insert to place in the bulletin. This allows the event to be advertised without burying it on the back page and going unnoticed. You will find a downloadable Bulletin Insert on the Promotion page of our web site at www.________________. The Insert has an area for the location, date and time and is ready for print. Now reproduce it for insertion in the bulletin of the host church as well as other local churches.

Chapter 11
"E-mail/Social Media"

Last but certainly not least is email and social media. In today's world information now travels at the speed of light . . . It is amazing how quick a story can cover the world not to mention your city or town through e-mail or on social media such as Facebook. Put together an exciting and attractive message inviting everyone in your e-mail address book and your friends to the concert. Ask them to forward the invitation to their friends as part of the invitation as well. Remember to include the date, time and location as a part of the invitation. You can even attach a bio, bulletin insert or poster from our web site. If done correctly the invitation will go to thousands of people with-in a single 24-hour period.

"Conclusion"

In closing let me say, "Promoting a Gospel Concert is not for the faint of heart". It is hard work and if not done correctly very time consuming. If you will pray while seeking God's direction and approach promoting your event with a ministry like attitude you will find the event will become a part of your life. It is a ministry in itself. Think about it though, when the doors are open and the lights come on and the venue begins to fill, what a feeling. However, that's not the best part of being a Gospel Music Promoter! The absolute best part of being a Gospel Music Promoter is when the invitation is given and that one lost soul walks the aisle and gives their heart and life to Jesus Christ. It is worth it all!

"Comments and Suggestions"

In an attempt to continue to improve and become more effective as a ministry we ask you to please share with us your thoughts. Please use the space below to share with us any comments and/or suggestions that you may have that you feel would help to make the promotion of this ministry more successful. It goes without saying, this type of ministry is constantly changing and improving. That improvement can only come about through the sharing of information and idea from Local Promoters such as you. Again, thank you for your hard work and dedication to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ through the ministry of Gospel Music Promotion.
 
The Heritage Quartet :  C/O Kenn Jackson 7804 Van Wyck Rd. Lancaster, SC  29720
(803) 448-1159 (C)     (803) 285-1087 (H)
                                                    E-Mail: theheritagequartet@gmail.com  Web: www.theheritagequartet.com
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