Carefully Consider Advertising Options

Advertising can extend your reach and help you to reach many more people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Here are some tips to consider:

  • If you have allocated funds for advertising, it is important to consider the media outlet and the related programming that will be associated with your advertising. Not all outlets are appropriate for Catholic related advertising.
  • Spirit FM is an excellent outlet for reaching people across the Diocese of St. Petersburg and special advertising rates are available to parishes, schools and entities affiliated with the Diocese of St. Petersburg and nonprofit organizations. Consider advertising to attract more crowds to your events and get your message heard. They can write and produce the ad for you or you can submit the ready to air spots. Contact the advertising department at 813-387-5074 or email
  • Some people are finding Facebook and social media is a cost effective way to advertise. Starting with budgets at low as $50 you can reach thousands of people. Also, according to a recent study by Ogilvy & Mather: unpaid (free) posts on Facebook are typically seen by only about 6 percent of a page’s fans, and that figure is expected to continue to decline.
  • When you purchase ads on social media and digital platforms, you can target the audience by: location, age, gender, language, and connections to your page.
  • This video has helpful information about Facebook advertising:
  • It’s important to understand who is your target audience and what is the best way to reach them. For example, if you are trying to reach local public school high school students for your parish youth ministry program, it might be a good idea to purchase a banner ad in the school’s football stadium.

When creating an ad, keep these points in mind:

  • Keep your Catholic identity central to your message and look.
  • Remember who your audience is and what benefit they will receive from your event or program. People want to know the benefit, so communicate the value they will receive from participating.
  • Less is more in advertising. Don’t use too many words. Wordy ads confuse the reader. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention. Get to the point of your message as fast as possible.
  • Have some sort of direct response mechanism, such as a phone number so that callers can get more information or a website address. This also lets you track the effectiveness of your ad.
  • Do not use a stylized typeface that looks great, but is difficult to read.
  • Too many graphics detract from the ad, so be selective.

Checklist for Ad Creation:

  • Is the message clear at a glance? Can you tell what the ad is about?
  • Is the benefit in the headline supported by copy?
  • Is the type large and legible?
  • Did you identify your parish, school or agency?
  • Is the text simple, clear and direct?
  • Is there a call to action?

Keep this in mind if you are placing an ad in a secular publication:

  • Before committing to placing your ad, obtain a copy of the rate card. This card covers rates, publication dates and deadlines, frequency, circulation and demographics. Learn to read and compare rate cards. Ask the not-for-profit rate or religious rate if applicable. Ask for the best value for your type of ad. Rates vary by day, section and readership. Most newspaper ads are calculated by the column inch. Be prepared to negotiate. Do not take someone’s rate card at face value.