I was back on campus at my alma mater this past weekend for the 125th Anniversary Celebration. It was a great reunion weekend and packed with activities (including Condoleezza Rice!). As I was catching up with friends, professors and staff it often lead to what I’m doing. The fun thing about saying you work in marketing is that they either think it’s huge and broad so kind of scoot past it, OR they have something to say on the subject.
And a few folks had comments about the neighborhood church and their new banner inviting students to check them out. As a Christian university this is common on campus. But while this banner is attempting to be inviting, they’re turning students off.
Here’s what I think they meant to say: “We know you’re in a new town and new setting. You probably miss your home church and we would love to be that for you. We aren’t big and flashy, we’re a community church, similar to the one you grew up in. We’re here and ready for you.”
What they DID do was try to play off the “not your mom’s ____” campaign that is clever, but over done. And it was done poorly here. Their heart is in the right place, but another set of eyes and input on this campaign before sticking it on a banner on the side of the building would have been helpful.
Before you put it on a banner or out there for everyone, get a second set of eyes on the content. OUTSIDE the organization. We all know what a horrible thing groupthink can be. Talk to your target market, get feedback from someone outside the situation and make sure you aren’t accidentally turning people off when you’re trying to be welcoming.