There has never been a more vital time to communicate the good news of your parish than there is today. From community outreach, Catholic school news, prayerful opportunities, and fellowship with parishioners, so much is happening in your parish … are you letting people know?
The weekly bulletin, while still the central vehicle in parish communication, is only one facet of efforts out there. And the parish secretary, while also a key figure in the innerworkings of your parish, is also just one person with many hats. Your parish needs more, in order to do more.
If your parish has yet to create a marketing or communication team, now is the time to get one going — here’s why.
People Prefer Multiple Methods
Email, text, website, push notifications, social media posts, print, digital … the list of ways people can and prefer to communicate grows bigger by the day. And when most parishes can’t afford a full-time staff member or have access to a volunteer willing to donate the hours of time required to accurately fulfill the role, they become severely limited in what they can do. And that is where the beauty of a working communication team comes in.
If you have yet to connect with parishioners or community members, now is the time. Ask around the parish for people who are skilled in communication and/or marketing. Perhaps they own a small graphic design business or worked in the communication field before becoming a stay-at-home parent. Whatever they may have done in the past or currently do now, their skills are invaluable in what they could contribute.
Some ideas to consider:
- Create and manage select ways of communication for the parish, including website, Facebook, bulletin, and email newsletters.
- Make the parish visible enough for those searching for a church home to easily find you.
- Build bridges between the many ministries in your parish by exploring ways to communicate information throughout all groups.
PRO-TIP: It doesn’t need to be a big commitment! A monthly or every other month meeting and a working Google document is enough to get the ball rolling on ways to communicate effectively within your parish. Just keep each other in the loop, make sure Father approves all ideas and initiatives, and of course, have fun!
Volunteers With Different Skill Sets
Rarely do volunteers come with an all-in-one skill set. You may find someone who can create beautiful marketing material but has a horrible time with grammar (and vice/versa!). That’s OK! As long as you can correctly fill the needed roles and work together to get work accomplished, you can make a huge difference in the way people perceive your parish — inside and out!
Ideally, you’ll want to staff your team with people who have skills in graphic design, writing and editing, social media, photography/videography, website and SEO, and marketing. But depending on who you have in your parish, or inner community, take what you can get and ask for recommendations later for other people who should join.
Do More, With More
With social media and emerging technology growing all the time, people except more these days — especially when it comes to their faith community. At the very least, your church should have a web presence, weekly bulletin, and a social media platform like Facebook. But imagine what you could do to increase and enhance the spirituality of your parishioners if you could add on more avenues to live their faith!
Think weekly email newsletters bursting with Gospel reflections and upcoming events, text messages reminding people about the capital campaign goal and how they can easily donate, a series of images from the faith community that is shared on social media, and even short videos or podcasts about the importance of the Mass or Confession. The more you can add in these additional (yet necessary) vehicles, the better your members can live their faith.
PRO-TIP: As a group, sit down and come up with a list of essentials — website, bulletin, social media, etc. — and then start a second list of what you’d love to see added. You may discover that you can do more than you thought!
Ready to build your communication crew? Check out “New Ways to Recruit Parish Volunteers” for some helpful tips on getting people interested.