When my wife and I began the ministry at the University of Rhode Island in 1981 we put an ad in the student newspaper. It was not very fancy. It had a fish symbol and simply asked if they were a Christian looking for fellowship. Two students, Chip and Kenny, called us and helped form my first Bible study and the core of our ministry. When Chip, who was a graduate student, called, he expressed surprise that Campus Crusade was on campus. He was involved with CCC as an undergraduate on another campus, and was told there was none at URI. But it underscored the importance for me of publicity.
A few years later, I received a phone call from a staff friend on another campus. Gary told me about a freshman at URI who was best friends with a student that had just gotten involved in his ministry. Apparently, he had been talking with his friend about the spiritually dry atmosphere at URI. So within a few days I met him in his room. But he was not nearly as enthusiastic to meet me as I anticipated. In fact, he was almost embarrassed in front of his roommate. He never got involved. I figured that I reached him a week too late. He had already started to establish relationships with non-Christians and could not pull away. Again, this underscored the importance of publicity and getting it up early.
The first week on campus is the most critical for the incoming freshman. We want to have posters up to show them how to get in touch with us. Jeff Bridgforth, GodSquad webmaster, has a page called “A Poster A Week” strategy. http://www.godsquad.com/squadroom/evangelism/poster.htm He put a link next to each poster, in case you want to use something other than the one he used.
Other poster ideas can be found at http://www.godsquad.com/squadroom/posters/index.htm and http://www.escmedia.org/campaigns/index.html. Follow the links on the left for other promotional ideas.
I think that it is important that every ministry has someone in charge of publicity. We want to help them develop a strategy for publicity based on their campus plan, print out the posters and distribute them to put up. With the variety and number of options available, they could use a different poster every week and not run out. Publicity helps people get in touch with you. It shows that Christians have things to say about the every day issues that students face. And it lets others see that your ministries are active.