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 Alpha Invitation 
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Advertising Ideas

Be creative - you know your community and the best ways of inviting them to an Alpha course together. There are lots of free and low cost ways to advertise. Here are some ideas to get started. Use as many of these ideas as you like!


Quicklink: Wider-Community Advertising >>

 

1) Encourage congregations to get involved: Church Level Advertising

a) Encourage churches to engage the congregation:

When congregations understand the purpose of the Alpha Invitation, more people will invite guests to attend introductory dinners.

 

Item
Tips
Cost prices may change
Use this DVD to inspire the congregation during a Sunday service about 3 weeks before the Alpha course begins. Show the 60sec ad; the Alpha Invitation 4min video or 12 minute What is Alpha? video.
 
$1.25 each
Announcements and word-of-mouth
Promote your course in church bulletins, newsletters, and email blasts. 
Ask local churches if you can give a short presentation about Alpha to encourage their congregations to get involved and invite friends.
Ask if you can promote Alpha through diocesan training days at local church conferences.
 
Church Website
To post course information. 
 


b) 
Promotional materials congregations can use: Hand out the following materials to congregation members to promote the Alpha course.

 

Download a full list of promotional resources >> 

 

Item
Tips                                                   
Prices may change
¨Look for highly visible places in the local area to display posters: grocery shops, doctors’ surgeries, libraries, community centers, gyms and cafés.
¨Congregation can put up posters in businesses.
¨Ask nearby churches which are unable to hold a course, but might be willing to display posters.
¨It can be eye catching to fill a notice board with posters of different sizes.
¨Consider printing a list and start dates of all the local Alpha courses on the larger (11x17) poster.
 
 
 
Size: 8.5 x 11
0.99c each
 
 
Size: 11 x 17
$1.29 each
 
¨Work with other churches to ensure that the whole town or city is invited.
¨Overprint invitations with course details.
¨Include one/two in the Sunday bulletin and encourage folks to invite their friends and neighbors.
¨ Hand out in the street, at events or do a mass mailing to your community.
¨ Think of creative ways to hand them out - we heard of taxi drivers offering invitations to passengers, teams giving drinks cans with an Invitation during the summer
 
$7.99 for 50
¨ Write a personal note to your friends.
 
$4.99 for 25
 
¨ Place outside your church or home to encourage questions from your neighbors.
¨ Consider setting a target to get, for example, 100
 
$24.99 for 5
 
¨Churches often have prime locations in local towns and cities. Invest in an Alpha banner to display in a prominent place on your church premises. 
 
$129.99 each
 
¨These are a good way to involve the congregation.
¨ Put on cars, filing cabinets and fridges.
 
$1.99 each
Downloads
-  Web banners
- Business card
-  ‘Get Involved’
¨Promotional tools including Alpha web banners, suitable for the congregation to use on websites and blogs.
FREE

2) Wide-scale Community Campaign check with advertising agencies on their non-profit rates.

 

Method
Tips
Estimated Cost
Social Media

Facebook Groups and Adverts
¨Twitter Feeds promoting the Alpha courses in your area
¨Google Adwords / Facebook Adverts

Join the conversation www.twitter.com/alphausa

www.facebook.com/alphausa

Free or paid
Local Publications:
Newspaper and Magazine Advertising
 
Free Publicity:
¨ Many newspapers/magazines have a current events section where you can submit details of the Alpha courses.
¨ Many newspapers have community calendars online where you may also list your Alpha course information.
¨ Contact the reporter who covers religion for the publication. Provide a press release on your event(s). Personally follow-up with the reporter.
Paid Advertising:
¨Select key local newspapers and magazines in your area. Choose publications with the largest circulation. Often one company will publish several newspapers (daily/weekly or free/paid-for press) and they may offer you a discounted rate to advertise in more than one of their publications.
¨If you are planning to place an advertisement, talk to the advertising team to see if the editorial team can be persuaded to write editorial coverage for your Alpha event or course. Try to ensure that this is on a different page to your advert.
¨Paid advertisement in your local newspaper listing the courses running, the start dates, locations and contact information.  This will have the great effect of giving people a choice and showing the community that churches are working together.
¨Contact the publications advertising department 6 weeks before you want an ad to appear.  If you miss this deadline, still contact them as they may have advertising space available.  Request a right-hand page position, near the front and try to advertise on a page which contains editorial rather than other advertisements-it will have more impact. 
Contact Alpha USA for assistance in preparing artwork for paid advertising. In general, we recommend you include:
Explore the meaning of life with an explanation of what the Alpha course involves
Details of all area Alpha introductory dinners or events
Details of all Alpha courses
Use the Invitation advertising image and branding
Contact details for potential guests - email, phone number, website (www.alphausa.org).
Ranges from free to a few $1000
Billboards, Bus posters, Train posters, Shopping mall banners
 
¨ If you are interested in using other forms of advertising visit www.alphausa.org/downloads and the image request section. Complete the form and we would be happy to supply you with artwork in high resolution formats and may be able to connect you with advertising companies who can help.
¨ Do you know anyone that works in an advertising company that can help?
¨ Most advertising companies offer non-profit rates.
¨ You can often negotiate rates with the advertising company.
¨ Companies quote the price of the space, and it often does not include the cost of production (this can be a few $100).
¨ Notes on billboard advertising:
See where key billboard locations are in your town, and note the number and company under the billboard. Check with the company about the rates and availability.
Contact the advertising company and get a list of available billboards for the dates you have set. Once you receive a list drive around and look at the billboards you are interested in, (sometimes the picture provided by the company looks very different to the actual location).
Billboards $1000-$6,500 each, (plus production $100-$500 each)
 
Train posters: $3,000 - $10,000
 
Bus Posters:
$500-$5000
 
Mall banners
$200-$1000
Movie Theaters
and TV adverts
¨ If you are interested in running a movie or TV advert visit www.alphausa.org/downloads and the media request section. We can to supply you with the tape in format you require.
¨ Many movie advertising companies offer a package deal if you also have an advertisement in the lobby area. Consider if this is something you want to invest in.
 
$1000-$4,000 / theater for a 4 week period
Radio spots
Free Publicity:
¨Some radio stations (Christian and non-Christian) make announcements of local events free of charge and you can get your Alpha course included.
¨Contact Christian radio stations covering your area; visit their website to learn of other promotional opportunities like activity calendars. Ask if the station airs a community events calendar.
Paid Advertising:
¨Ask if the radio station creates adverts. If not, you may use the ads we have at www.alphausa.org/downloads
 
Free to $3,000
Local Town/ City Public Announcement Posters
¨Many towns and cities have public announcement space. Check with your local town/city office to see if you are able to put a poster with the Alpha courses starting in your area.
¨A float in your local town parade or a booth at the County Fair
Production
$100-$300
Float: $10s to $100s
Campus Promotion
¨Posters on University Campus buses
Est. $100 each

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