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Church Marketing Blog

Church marketing personnel need to be up-to-date with the latest church marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the church / parish marketing plan. This church marketing blog enables church marketing personnel to engage in blog discussions relating to the church marketing issues of today. The 'Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

The Difficult Media Question During an Interview - a Response

Saturday, July 02, 2016
The difficult, challenging question posed by an interviewer will often occur at a media interview - it needs to be responded to during the interview or shortly afterwards.

The last resort is the, "No comment," response. If time is needed to gain an accurate response, then advise the interviewer that you will find the answer and get back in as reasonable time as possible.

In the Church setting this can be quite a challenge, particularly when church personnel are not experienced to receive such requests or skilled with the necessary response techniques. There is also the inherent fear of damaging the Church's hard earned reputation if the response is incorrect or not given in a credible way.

Below is a suggested response for the Church marketing personnel. This includes:

• Being prepared for the interview and anticipating negative questions
• Interview techniques to assist

* Have an eexperienced expert media / PR advisor working closely with you and your church through these difficult times. These people be church employess or outside consultants.

Be Prepared - A Response Method

• Anticipate the sort of negative questions which might arise and prepare good responses.
• Have your key 3-4 positive points you would like to make.

It may also be necessary to make arrangements with the interviewee prior to the interview, and before the journalist arrives, that the Church Marketing Manager would interject respectfully if the interviewee was getting particularly stressed or confused during the interview. This is particularly necessary if the person being interviewed is a child / student. There is always a duty of care to assist the child firstly and respond to the interviewer only secondly.

Key techniques during the interview when asked a difficult question requiring a response are usually:

1. Acknowledge the weakness (apologize if needed)

2. Agree that plans are afoot to improve the situation

3. Continually revert back to the 3-4 key positive points you want to make.


The Serious or Controversial Issue - Interview

Dealing with a serious or controversial issue involves having staff well trained with important interview techniques. These techniques are usually coordinated by the church's authorities who have qualified staff to train urch personnel.

The techniques above would often form the basis for such difficult interviews. These interviews often result from alleged controversial or illegal incidents, involving staff or parishioners.

These days the difficult media question is a stock question of the journalist's profession. There is nothing better for a church's reputation when these questions are responded to well and those being informed through the interview see a professional approach being shown and implemented. Be informed, prepared and skilled with the various interview techniques.

The 'The Difficult Media Question During an Interview - a Response' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from and and all good bookstores.

Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), 2011, by Bryan Foster - CONTENTS

Monday, March 26, 2012
The Contents listed below are from the Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), 2011, by Bryan Foster. This is a 304 page paperback and e-book written in easy to read summarized format. The author has 20 years marketing experience in leadership roles within the Church and Catholic education.

About the Author                           
Church Parish Marketing (CPM) Website                                         

Church Marketing Plan Overview Sample               

Church Marketing - Internet Applications
with Samples and Instructions                       

Website     Background                               
        Management Software
        Target Audience
        Webpage Templates
        Other   Blogs   
            Photo Gallery / Video Gallery
            You Tube embedding
            Social Networking     Facebook
        Domain Names / URLs
        Website Building, Hosting and Costs
Commercial Website Build and Hosting
My Preference
Church Website Needs
Best Website Building & Hosting Approach for Your Church
        Legal Advice

Website Management Software Sample               
RSS Feeds   Advantages of RSS                           
        Sample Website with RSS Facility
        Church Website Developers Adding RSS Feeds
        Visitors Subscribing to RSS Feeds
RSS Symbol Location for a Webpage
        Sample RSS Feed
        RSS Symbol Different Location
        Viewing RSS Feeds
        RSS Feeds Further Explained

SEOs         Explained                               
        Website Viewers
        Suggestions for Improvement

Blogs       Explained                               
        Blog Posts
        Two Major Blog Uses for Churches
        Church Website’s Blog
        Management Software
        External Blog Sites
‘Blogger’ Sample

Emails   Introduction                               
        Staff Email
        Email Disclaimer
        Legal Advice
        Email Challenges
        Email Providers

e-Newsletter and i-Newsletter                               
e/i-Newsletter and Newsletter Essential
        Regular Weekly Publication
        Professional e-Newsletter
        e/i-Newsletter Homepage +
        Production In-house or Outsourced
        Brevity Rulz
        Layout Development

e-Flyer and i-Flyer                                   
        Distribution Methods
        Production for Email-outs
        Database for Email-outs
        i-Flyer Webpage
        Production - Offsite Option

Social Networking Websites                             
        The Challenge
        Underlying Assumptions
        Why Consider?
Approaches to Use
        Church Group Membership
        Church Leader Membership
Facebook     Individual Sign Up                           
        Sample Parish Priest Account
        Religious Organization Sample
        Religious Organization Sign Up Steps Sample
        Link Religious Organization to Twitter?
        FAQs and Help Website
Twitter   Church Uses                               
            Instant Feedback
            Interactive Homily
            Keeping in Touch
Explained Further
        Profile Page Sample
        Personal Homepage Sample
        Sign Up
        Twitter Groups           
LinkedIn   Overview                               
Sample Professional Page
Form Groups for Discussion

Video uploads including You Tube                       
        Uploading Video to Church Website
        Uploading Video to You Tube
        Instructions to Embed Video
        Instructions to Embed Video on Your Site Using Example

Skype       Why Skype as Part of the Church Marketing Plan?       
        Skype Explained

Chat Rooms     Hotmail in Windows Live Sample               
            Benefits of ‘Chatting’
            Chat Room for a Church
            Sample Chat Room
            Overview of Windows Live Messenger
            Download Other Aspects of Windows Live
            Sign Up Process
            Get Chatting

Church Marketing Plan and Church Marketing Manager                                           
Church Marketing Plan (CPM)                             
CMP Overview Sample

Analysis of the CMP

Be Ethical
Who Needs a CMP?

Church Marketing Manager (CMM)                       
Full / Part-Time or Shared Role
CMM Skills Needed
Church Response to CMM

Church Marketing Manager Support Clusters             
Support Cluster – Church Leadership Team
Support Cluster of CMMs
Diocesan Support and Deanery Cluster

First Impressions
Key Branding Areas
Primary Areas
Secondary Areas
Tertiary Areas
Branding Changes
Creativity of Design

Invest During Good Times
Shared CMPs – Regionalized or Localized
Aims and Sample Questions
Discussion Groups
Survey vs. CMP Evaluation

Church Parish Marketing Plan Evaluation                     
Survey and Feedback
CMM Support

Deanery Marketing Plan                               

Church Marketing Relationships
Powerful Stakeholders                                 
    Insiders’ Views
    Confidence in the Church and Parish
    Parish’s Reputation is Paramount
    Nielsen Survey Results and Extrapolation

Parish Open Day                                     
Reasons for Attendance
Promotional Materials
Best Time
Parishioner and Parental Involvement

Church - School Relationships                            
Improved Church – School Relationships
Church Leadership
Parish Engagement
Parish – School Liturgies and Groups
Other Key Church Personnel Engagement
Improved School – School Relationships
Strategies to Build Stronger School – School Relationships
Priests Publicly Support Schools
Principal Intervention for Non-Supportive Staff and Parents

Feeder School Visitations                             
Role of Priests
Role of School Staff
Year Levels Visited
Presentation Overview
Room and Facilities
Preparation Before Visitations
Preparation on the Day
Sample Visitation Presentation Agenda

Taster Days                                         
Priest and Pastoral Associate Involvement
Different Experiences
Day Plan

Parish Recognition Night or …                           
Other Options

Church Marketing Resources + Instructions    
Marketing Resources                               
    Considerable Range of Resource Options
    Examples Used in this e-Book

Parish Information Kit                                 

Producing a Parish Information Kit                         
Commercial Printers and Graphic Artists
Production Plan and Tips

Photos – Critical for Success                           
    How to Take Good Photographs – Website Examples
    Photos on Church Website
    Church Photographers
    Digital Cameras
    Film Cameras are a Challenge

Parish DVD / CD                                   
    Production Plan
    Videoing Skills
Video Editing Software Examples
Advice for Hardware and Software Purchases
    Post Videoing Sequences
    Part of Church Marketing Plan
    Internal Promotion
Church Staff and Greeters                           
Front Desk Monitor
Telephone and TXTing                                
Parish Office Response to Calls with Samples
Staff Voicemails with Sample
Challenging Calls
Staff Response to Challenging Calls
TXTing and Church Marketing

Telephone On-Hold                               
    Planned Recordings
    Looped Play of Recording

Weekly Publication
    Website Updates
    Professional Publication
    Effectiveness of Content
    Sponsorship Dilemma
    Layout Development

Commercially Produced Newsletter                       
Color or Grayscale
Layout and Content

Target Group and Costs
Paper Type
Size of Flyer
Delivery Methods
Producing a Flyer

Effective Posters
Poster Display and Production

Key Brochures
Other Suggestions
Signs and Signboards                               
Church Signs
Regular Updating of Signboards
Large Photographic Signs
Professional Advice Sort
Promotional Items                                 
Feel-Good Approach and Examples
Mid to Long Term Success

Parish Yearbook                                   
Graphic Artist
Production Timeline
CMM and Editor
Plan for Yearbook Editor

Church Marketing and the Traditional Media
+ Instructions                                   

Traditional Media                                     
Do not be Afraid of the Media. Be Respectful.
Positive Relations
Church Contact Person
Media Release
Direct Contact with Media Outlets and Journalists
Balanced Relationship Needed
CMM’s Availability
Be Careful – Do Not Seem Uninterested

Media Releases                                   
When Used
No Guarantees
Better Chances of Coverage
Long Dry Periods – Response
‘The Event’ – Two Media Releases
Writing a Media Release (+ Sample)                       
Media Release Writing Skills
Sending a Media Release
Response of Media to an Event
Suggested Media Release Outline Plan

Media Interview                                   
Be Well Prepared
Who is Interviewed?
Preparation for the Interview
Conducting the Interview
CMM at Interview
Negative Questions – A Response Method

Journalists Visiting the Parish                           
Meeting Time
Coverage of an Event and CMM’s Role

Own Parish Photos
CMM and the Photojournalist
Stopping Inappropriate Photos and Follow-Up

Editorial from the Parish + Sample                       
When Needed
What is Editorial?
Advertisements Without Editorial
Way to Gain Editorial
Steps for Creating Editorial

The Difficult Media Situation                             
Parish Response
Criminal Matters
Staff Preparation for Interviews

‘Staged’ events                                     
Main Events
Something Different
Other Possible Events

Church Marketing - Advertising in the Media
+ Instructions                                            

Advertising in the Traditional Media                       
Purpose and Overview
Advertisement Creation Options
    Two Options
    Background Preparation
    Be Prepared
    Check Proofs
    Sign-Off on Advertisements

Newspaper and Magazine Advertising                     
Overview of Newspaper Advertising
Solid Advertising Account Advantage
Advertising Consultants
‘Stressed Advert’
Magazine Advertising Overview

Creating a Newspaper or Magazine Advertisement Instructions       
Overall Tips
The Plan – Instructions
Collect Resources
Creative Decisions
Create the Advertisement
Directions and Resources to Graphic Artist

Radio Advertising                                   
Cost is Relatively Expensive – Worth Considering
Positives are Potentially Numerous
Campaign Enhancements
Advertising by Parish, Cluster or Deanery?
Audience Demographic
Advertising Times
Suitability of Stations
Be Prepared
Advertising Consultants and Proposals Plan
Special Event Day

Creating a Radio Advertisement + Instructions + Sample           
Overview for Success
Readers / Voice
Recordings – CMM Role
Recording Cautions
Live Reads and Other Cautions
Recordings for Church Community / Website / On-Hold
Campaign Advertisement Play Time

Television Advertising                               
Beware the Challenges
    Large Cities
    Smaller Cities and Towns
Television Station Advertising List – Learn from …

Creating a Television Advertisement                       
The Proposal
Professional Quote / Presentation Proposal
CMM and Advertisement Preparations
Include Parish Personnel and Facilities
CMM’s Role in Production

Action Plan Activity                                                                                               




The 'Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), 2011, by Bryan Foster - CONTENTS' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from and

Key Church Communication Leaders Often Don't Understand How to Get The Message Out - the Answer is...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Key Church communication leaders are often the reason that the Church's message does not successfully reach the intended audiences. There are answers for this reality.

Why Publish the Article?

I have been seriously considering this situation for quite a while now and as of yet haven't published these thoughts for a number of reasons
  1. Am I too harsh?
  2. Will too many key Church communication people be upset by these challenges and not be able to deal with reality?
  3. Is it worth going out on a limb to help inprove the situation?
In the end I felt that a jolt to key people may be what is needed. In no way am I trying to offend some really wonderful and inspiring Church people. I am just trying to say, "Hey - the world, and hence the people of God, are changing extremely quickly. The Church needs to respond just as quickly to these changes. Key communications and marketing people within the Church need to be open to a range of new and highly successful marketing techniques. Yes, a number of the traditional methods have an important place to play - but don't just rely on these!"

Church Communication Leaders Get Limited Success

Unfortunately, human nature gets in the way of getting the message across.

The leaders, or their marketing / communications personnel under the leaders' directions, within various archdiocese / diocese / parishes are often limited in their marketing skills. Worst of all these people often believe that you do not need modern approaches to marketing their archdiocese, diocese, church or parish. That they know best.

In this internet / digital communication's world many, if not most, of the marketing approaches are modern and digital. The traditional ways have some relevance but are too frequently used as the primary approaches by these people.

Certainly the 'word-of-mouth' and parish newsletter are key marketing approaches - however, the market for these is often the local practising parish community. Those outside this small group usually miss out on being kept informed.

Often the ego wins! Many of these communication leaders actually believe they have all the knowledge and do not need source other successful means to achieving the desired communication outcome. It seems to be that if it wasn't their idea it couldn't work! May be this insecurity is the cause of the problem for many people.

The Answer

There are a number of ways which will answer this challenge:
  1. Acknowledge the challenge issued and whether you are a part of this.
  2. Research and source the highly successful methods for marketing the Church - use the internet as a primary source to help.
  3. Keep Church marketing and communication's people fully abreast of these modern digital ways.
  4. Include the traditional ways which are also successful - weed the successful from the non-successful.
  5. Develop a Church Marketing Plan which includes the successful methods - both contemporary and traditional.
  6. Aim to go beyond just the small number of  local practising parishioners- reach the much larger, wider community. From here will come more new parishioners and church goers.
I would be very interested in reading your responses to this challenge.

The 'Key Church Communication Leaders Don't Understand How to Get The Message Out - the Answer is...' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from and

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