VBS promotion (or publicity) is best when released in waves. With each wave the amount of information provided expands along with the target audience. Here's an example:
Wave 1 announces the date and time to the church staff and ministry leaders. This announcement serves as both a prompt for members of the congregation to hold the date as well as signaling to other ministry leaders to steer clear of the date. This announcement can be made as early as a year out, but definitely before the new church year begins.
Wave 2 announces the date, time, and possibly the theme to the congregation at large. This is a hold-the-date reminder and is best made in early January.
Wave 3 targets potential workers and should be made prior to or in conjunction with enlistment. Include date, time, worker needs, and the benefits of working in VBS. This announcement should be designed to begin building interest for theme and ministry.
Wave 4 is again for the congregation at large. It should begin no later than the week after Easter and not end until the actual week of VBS. This wave is designed to create interest and challenge the congregation to both participate themselves as well as actively promote VBS to their neighbors and friends.
Wave 5 (which should actually be multiple waves) targets the community and should begin no later than four weeks prior to the week of VBS and continue until the first or second day of the VBS week.
Wave 6 begins at registration and continues throughout and beyond the week of VBS. The target for this wave of promotion is the unchurched families participating in VBS. Not only do you need to encourage their participation for the remainder of the week and the VBS Celebration, but participation in the ongoing ministries of the church.
Although you may have completed the first two waves, now is a good time to meet with the promotion team and challenge them to begin planning for waves three through six. If you do not have a promotion team now is the time to enlist a couple of people for the job. The promotion team is a great place to utilize teens, people with computer and social media skills, and people who will not be available during the week of VBS.