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Publicity work and advertisement

Publicity work and advertisement / Bild Nr. 56504934
Publicity work and advertisement | ©: Trueffelpix - Fotolia

Or: Those who not advertise will be forgotten!
Or: Do good and tell others about it!

These are slogans from advertisements. If you do good youth work and don't want to appeal only to a small selected group but be as open as Jesus Christ, you can pass the message on and invite new people into your group. Jesus approached the people, visited them and his word of mouth propaganda was the first type of "publicity work" in those days. Simon wrote letters, visited the communities and organised the first Christian "Open-Air's".

And today?

What possibilities do we have nowadays? Radio, newspaper, television, computer (this homepage for example) and printers and copiers who can print out handouts by the bucket load. All of these things can be used for planning and organising your group, club, holiday camps, concerts and events.

Here are a few tips on publicity

Verbal advertising

  • Word of mouth
  • Your group members invite their friends
  • The church leader invites the congregation
  • An introduction in church, at a fair etc.
  • Goal: personal contact to the target group is directly achieved

Written advertisement

  • Invitations (handed out personally or by post)
  • Handouts
  • Posters
  • Newspaper articles
  • Church community letter/local information sheets or local newspaper
  • Goal: A large number of people can be reached. However, if the presentation of the text, poster or handout is bad, it can be a flop.

General considerations on advertisements

  • Who do you want to reach? Age, girls/boys or a specific interest group.
  • How should the advertisement be organised?
    • The 6 w‘s
    • WHAT should be communicated?
    • WHO will organise, who is the contact person
    • WHEN will the program/the event take place?
    • WHERE will the program/event take place?
    • WHICH way will the program/the event be run (short and compact)?
    • WHY is something on offer (sense and goal)?


They should be short and kept as simple as possible, they should speak to the people directly and encourage them to think about it. The invitation should be kept concise and should not contain too much information. Remember: You want to reach your target youth group but you should be informing the parents at the same time - as appealingly as possible and as informative as necessary.


These are similar to invitations. Through folding techniques, you can increase the effectiveness (e.g. windows, simple or double folded); you can also but windows into the notes. They should be „hand-sized“, therefore not too big. The slogan should be eye-catching.


  • Large writing
  • Spread out
  • Use of pictures (collages, photos, drawings)
  • Strong colours
  • Few words
  • The 6 W's should be eye-catching.

Community letter/newspaper article

  • They should be factually correct
  • Written comprehensively
  • Short sentences and no endless chains of words
  • Use of verbs
  • No complicated words, appealing
  • In addition, the following is valid for a newspaper article:
    • Some newspapers do not allow information about prizes to be published (e.g. naming the camp prize)
    • Always write in the 3rd person, do not write „we“ but from the point of view of a neutral party
    • Use an impressive headline, the first sentence must catch the eye
    • A text which is too long must be radically shortened
    • Send your article to the „editing department of the xyz newspaper" and hope that your article will be printed in the next few days
    • Or get in touch personally with the relevant editor

When to inform people?

  • Approx. 4 - 6 weeks in advance
  • Send a reminder out 2 weeks beforehand
  • Try to use different methods of communication
  • Share the work load: who will organise what, how and when?
  • Name the contact persons. Materials and technical assistance can be added if required where necessary.
  • There are no limits to your fantasy, for example: paper, cardboard, felt, coloured pens and wax crayons, fabrics, pieces of wool, photos, drawings, computer, photocopier and printing devices (even a potato!)
  • "Ethical": Publicity work helps you make someone aware of something. You should not try to awaken false hopes, but despite this, try to be as effective as possible. An advertisement for the youth group or projects is not an electoral campaign!

Source: with kind permission from the Ev.-luth.Kirchenkreis Emsland-Bentheim. Translated into English by Praxis-Jugendarbeit.

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