Matthew David Clark
Regional Assembly Marketing
An example of my marketing skills that I particularly enjoy is the work that I pour into Regional Assembly every two years. It is a significant effort for our Region that includes Regional Staff, an Assembly planning team, multiple communications via multiple mediums for multiple audiences. All of which come together in a two day event that is beloved by Arizona Disciples. When each of these elements are well planned and executed as a coordinated marketing effort, attendees come excited and leave feeling fulfilled and restored.
Creating a marketing plan for assembly is not only key to successful communication, but also helps to guide overall planning milestones.
Keeping closely to the planned timeline allow all involved to have similar expectations, and to adjust when challenges arise.
Continually evaluating how the plan needs to adjust to challenges and circumstances allows for collaborative solutions that adjust while still accomplish the goals of the plan.
Finding A Message
One of the joys of this process is discerning together with the Regional Assembly Planning Team and Regional Minister the theme of Assembly and the experiences that are desired for attendees. A good logo or branding can help unify and focus ideas of the team while simultaneously express a clear expectation for attendees.
In 2016 the planning team strived to create an atmosphere that would celebrate unity and shared relationship by holding the Regional Assembly and the Arizona Convención Asamblea at the same location, on the same weekend. Worship services, workshops, and experiences would be bilingual. Speakers would reflect and speak to both our cultural differences and our shared faith. Our spaces would be welcoming and accommodating. The branding I created out of these planning team conversations worked to encapsulate those hopes and efforts; building anticipation and excitement leading up to the shared assembly.
The 2016 Assembly marketing effort was the first year congregations had the availability to download Assembly logos and promotional materials in a variety of formats including several with transparent backgrounds. This allowed congregations who were working with their own marketing plans to utilize images and materials in the ways that were most effective for their specific congregation.
One challenge with marketing Regional Assembly in Arizona is the difference in expectations of materials from different age demographics. Some hold expectations founded in years of experience and the traditions of past assemblies. Often they find significance in detailed narrative information, ties to history, and familiar language. Others place significance on expediency, bullet point style information, and modern aesthetics. Outside of age demographics, marketing Regional Assembly attempts to reach both the audience that is the individual attending a Disciples congregation, and the congregations as an institutional entity themselves through the office and minister. Each of these demographics have different needs that inspire excitement and elicit involvement.
For the 2018 Regional Assembly I was particularly aware of these audiences. The planning team named goals of the assembly as “being intentionally intergenerational, being vulnerable, being together, being diverse, and being sacred.” Each of these spoke to creating bridge spaces where all felt welcome, loved, and known. To this end I attempted to create documents that would have elements that would call to different age demographics. Narrative information and invitation appeared in a more modern format and was always pared with quick access information.
While working to create marketing media that could speak to multiple audiences, in 2018 we also added new tools to help inform and inspire those with specific needs. For congregations we provided an Assembly Timeline that allowed them to plan and coordinate promotional efforts within their church. Additionally, we provided several promotional videos, including one that had no audio and could be used with live music or before or after worship services.
Putting it all Together
Print materials continue to be important for marketing our Assembly. They provide tangible reminders and invitations for many of our Arizona Disciples, and some of our congregations. Email campaigns, social media posts, blog style narratives, and video also engage and invite Arizona Disciples and as well as allow for those who need print materials to quickly access and produce what they need.
Perhaps the part the I enjoy the most about the particular marketing example of Regional Assembly is that it illustrates my skills in developing and executing a marketing plan that works to inspire multiple groups while amplifying and affirming the already present identity of the Region. I believe marketing within church can help create and grow relationships. It can inspire and reflect the community strive to be.
Finally, pictured to the right and below are additional marketing examples that were part of the larger effort and plan for our Assemblies. Each email is linked and the Anticipating Assembly post can be found here. I thank you for your time, and look forward to our conversation.