Client: Outreach, Inc

InChrist Communications Helps Back to Church Sunday Achieve Record Success

Outreach

Background:

National Back to Church Sunday (www.backtochurch.com) is the single largest annual community outreach in the nation, sharing the simple message and mission of inviting everyone in America back to church. The campaign empowers churches and church members with the tools they need to welcome their neighbors, friends and loved ones back to church, while providing the unchurched an easy way to find a welcoming church in their community.

InChrist Communications was tapped to help ensure then success of the initiative by leveraging traditional media relations strategies to drive awareness and drive church participation.

Challenges:

  • Staying ideas, strategies and tactics creative and fresh after handling PR campaign in previous years.
  • Maintaining momentum over several- month ramp up from lead generation (church sign up period) to actual event
  • Developing media relations strategies and tactics that would appeal to both consumer and trade industry (churches) niches.
  • Getting local churches to use media relations materials produced by agency
  • Limited budget

ICC Strengths and Assets:

  • Experience deploying campaigns with national significance and reach
  • Relationships with and access to faith-based media and religion reporters in markets across the U.S.
  • Strong project management skills
  • Rapport with upper management and line personnel
  • Ability to make major decisions and work quickly under tight deadlines
  • Distribution capabilities directly to desktops of targeted, opted-in journalists
  • Strong news writing

Strategies and Tactics:

  • Consulted on in-house marketing strategy
  • Helped to coordinate and promote celebrity endorsement (Bethany Hamilton)
  • Targeted major national outlets to ensure maximum message reach
  • Developed a series of press releases over several months to keep event and initiative top of mind with reporters, churches and other stakeholders
  • Arranges interviews and talk show appearances
  • Provided media with localized assets and opportunities to help drive reach in smaller markets

Results: 

  • Helped increase participation in Back to Church Sunday by 38%.
  • Secured 631 media hits in 204 markets.
  • Obtained a featured panelist spot for the initiative’s spokesperson on Fox News’ “Spirited Debate” with Lauren Green.
  • Secured coverage by Yahoo!, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Post and Church Executive Magazine, among other top outlets.