An archive of various events and reports on the ways Churches Together in Harrogate have been ready to communicate their love of God and the community through local broadcasts and marketing initiatives such as media advertising; also a press cutting or two about the work of Churches Together in Harrogate.
CAN Christmas 2008BBC Songs of Praise programmes, broadcast 3 February and 6 April 2008, the Secretary provided some local insight on the filming of the programmes on Elly Fiorentini's show on BBC Radio York. Further Songs of Praise details and weblinks via our BBC SoP page (to follow).
Rev John Carter, previously a member of the Churches Advertising Network (CAN), (John stepped down at the end of last year after some eight years), writes: this year's radio adverts have a positive image, and use humour to remind a young secular listening audience of Christmas and its real meaning. You can hear them on the CAN website at http://www.churchads.org.uk/live/radio.html / http://churchads.org.uk/live/audio/football_match.mp3 / http://churchads.org.uk/live/audio/horse_racing.mp3
The impetus for the campaign came from a recent poll which found that only 12 per cent of adults in Britain know the facts of the biblical Christmas story.
The secretary was invited to 'review the papers' on Julia Booth's Sunday Breakfast show on 29 June and just before Christmas with John Caine; Rev Nicholas Henshall also contributing in December 2008. (BBC Radio North Yorkshire has quietly metamorphosed into BBC Radio York).
BBC Radio North Yorkshire 2005
BBC Radio North Yorkshire 2003
St Mary's church, Dorchester parish magazine, September 2005
Christmas Advertising Campaign 2003
A series of humorous radio commercials advertising the church, which were broadcast throughout England in the run up to Christmas 2003 have scooped a top media award. 'Why not ask Jesus for something else this Christmas', a series of four 30 or 40 second adverts commissioned by the Churches Advertising Network (CAN) beat a field of 7 entries to receive the prestigious Andrew Cross Award for the best Radio Advert or Promotion at an award ceremony hosted by the annual Churches' Media Conference in Derbyshire.
The 'Ask Jesus for something else' campaign was aimed at a youth audience and the four ads were heard on 32 ILR stations including the Galaxy network, BRMB, Radio City - Liverpool, and London's Kiss 100FM between December 5th and December 26th 2003. The campaign was created for CAN by the radio advertising agency, Radioville. Non-religious Christmas carols including 'Good King Wenceslas', and 'We wish you a merry Christmas' were given humorous new words highlighting some of the shortcomings of modern day secular Christmas celebrations. Each advert encouraged listeners to 'Ask Jesus for something else - come to your local Christian church'.
The winning commercials were broadcast more than 1600 times during December 2003, with local church groups buying air-time on ILR stations. The Christian broadcasting charity, Jerusalem Productions sponsored the production of the adverts and their transmission on major regional stations.
In awarding the Andrew Cross Award to the Churches Advertising Network and Radioville, the national panel of judges described the adverts as 'innovative and challenging'. The new 2004 radio campaign together with a parallel poster campaign, will be launched to the press and public on September 7th at 12.30pm at the headquarters Maiden Outdoor, 128 Buckingham Palace Road, London.
Note on the Andrew Cross Awards:
All the awards are in memory of the late Bishop Agnellus Andrew and the late Bishop Stewart Cross, former presidents of the Churches' Advisory Council for Local Broadcasting.
The 2003 Campaign
Latest News - October 2003 - the CAN Christmas Adverts have now been launched and are ready for you to listen to.
Four adverts have been created of 30 or 40 seconds in length and the common theme is 'Ask Jesus for something else'. We have had lots of local radio and press coverage but in case you haven't already heard the new adverts, please do click on our website where you will find the four ads listed . (Left click to listen - right click to download as MP3 files).
The adverts were played this month to a group of professional broadcasters at the Jerusalem Radio Awards presentation in London and got a great reception from many of the station managers and programme makers who were present. We are delighted by the job that top radio advertising agency, Radioville, has done in creating them for us, and grateful for the financial support of Jerusalem Productions. We hope you like them too.
But please can you help? No one will hear these adverts unless local groups, church bodies, individuals or organisations buy or sponsor advertising time on their local station in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. That's when we hope the campaign will make its impact but we really depend on you to help us.
The web page explains exactly how to go about placing the adverts on your ILR station. The adverts are aimed at young people, but we think they will appeal to all ages and can be broadcast on any station which local people listen to. Please make use of the MP3 files to play to others you think might be interested; a CD was available which includes the four adverts together with a few words explaining the campaign and how it works.
Christmas is coming soon ! There are just a few weeks together for local groups to get sponsorship together, start purchasing some advert slots on the local station and informing us by the beginning of December so that we can arrange for broadcast quality DAT tapes to be sent to each participating station.
In the summer of 2003 came the exciting news when CAN scooped the Andrew Cross award for best advert or promotion at this years Christian Broadcasting conference for last year's 'Losing the Plot' radio ads. It was a strong field of 14 entrants, and it is apparently the first time in ten years that CAN has won anything!
The even better news is that for 2003 a new series of adverts have been commissioned and created by Radioville which we think are excellent. They will be launched, alongside a parallel poster campaign, on September 9th (with a sneak preview at this year's Greenbelt Festival). We really hope we can increase the audience for the adverts from last years 24 stations - an impressive increase on the previous year in itself but still a small percentage of the total number of commercial radio stations on which the adverts could be broadcast.
This year the theme of the radio campaign is 'Ask Jesus for something else this Christmas'. Four adverts have been created (either 30 seconds or 40 seconds), thanks to the support of Jerusalem Productions, which are both humourous and direct. They take four well known Christmas carols and change the words to reflect different aspects of Christmas - all finishing with a tag line which suggests that there is an alternative at your local Christian church. The adverts have been recorded by a professional vocal team and we are confident that they will be extremely effective. A number of church organisations and groups have already heard them and are very positive.
From September 9th the Christmas radio campaign has been available to listen to or download as MP3 files at the CAN website. Our poster is a reminder that the real message is not about letters to Santa poster up the chimney, trips to Lapland and expensive self indulgence. It is found as we join the shepherds who first came in response to the message of the angels to wonder at the birth of God's Son; the quote reads: "Go on, ask him for something".
This year, with the adverts downloadable material for related sermons, youth talks, or discussion groups will be available, using the radio and poster adverts as the 'jumping off' point. This is a new departure which we have been hoping to see for two or three years and had finally come to fruition. It means that as young people hear the adverts on the local commercial station you can use the posters and the material to develop the themes.
Rev John Carter, DCO, continues: "Can you play a part in this year's campaign by pulling together a group from your church, Christian organisations or local Churches Together group to sponsor ads on your local station? We provide and distribute the ads to the stations - all you have to do is raise the money, buy the space and let us know that you are doing so. Help and advice is on hand from us if you need it, .... Note that radio stations will bend over backwards to fit in with your requests (it's a advert buyer's market right now).
Christmas Advertising Campaign 2002
He described how the series of five 30 second adverts commissioned by the Churches Advertising Network (CAN), which were entitled 'Losing the Plot', beat a field of 17 entries to receive the prestigious Andrew Cross Award for the best Radio Advert or Promotion at an award ceremony hosted by the annual Churches' Media Conference in Derbyshire.
The 'Losing the Plot' campaign was aimed at a youth audience and was heard on 24 radio stations including the Galaxy network and London's Kiss 100FM between December 10th and December 26th 2002. In North Yorkshire the adverts were heard in the two weeks leading up to Christmas on Minster FM, Stray FM and Galaxy 105 and 105-6, thanks to support and sponsorship from Churches Together in Harrogate and the York communications group, Christians in Communication.
The campaign was created for CAN by the radio advertising agency, Radioville. It attracted controversy for using the sound of breaking wind in an advert which parodied over-consumption. Other adverts, in the light-hearted and attention grabbing series, invited listeners to 'Take a break from Christmas - come to your local Christian Church'.
CAN's radio campaign co-ordinator, the Revd John Carter, a Church of England communications officer, said that the voluntary group were delighted that the adverts had received the Andrew Cross Award. He said, "The five commercials were broadcast some 1500 times only because of the vision of local church groups who were prepared to buy advertising slots on local stations and support the campaign. Thanks to generous support from Jerusalem Productions we are planning a new campaign next Christmas which we hope will be heard by an even larger audience."
In awarding the Andrew Cross Award to the Churches Advertising Network and Radioville, the national panel of judges described the adverts as 'humorous, pithy and fast-paced'. The new 2003 radio campaign together with a parallel poster campaign, will be launched to the press and public on September 9th at 12 noon at the headquarters Maiden Outdoor, 128 Buckingham Palace Road, London.