Your parish collected 600 boxes of diapers for the local pregnancy help center during the month of May, sold 256 roses on Valentine’s Day, and with the help of the local Boy Scouts, managed to clean up the entire garden in one afternoon, just in time for summer vegetables to start growing. No doubt, amazing things are happening within your walls — does your faith community know about it?
From bulletin blurbs to email blasts, social media posts to pulpit announcements, read on for tips on sharing the news of your parish with members that make up your faith community and beyond.
1. Stick to the Basics
When you think of disseminating parish information, the first thing that comes to mind is the parish bulletin. A mixture of formation, parish news, upcoming events, and local businesses, it is a “must have” for many parishioners. So even though it’s been around for years, it’s still a solid way to share what’s going on in your faith community with others — just make sure it’s a publication that people actually want to read.
The parish bulletin is so much more than what your grandparents used to read. Now parishes can print in color and utilize beautiful art that inspires, reflections that encourage, and business advertisements that promote. If you’re an LPi bulletin customer, you have everything you need at your fingertips to create an engaging publication — art, Catholic content, and advertising support.
2. Shout it (digitally) from the Rooftops
If you have the print communication down, it’s time to look at all the ways you can get it (digitally) in the hands of those who’d benefit from reading it … and these days, it’s more than just handing it out at the end of Mass.
Email, website, push notifications via parish app, social media, and text messages are all vehicles that parishes have access to these days. Choose a few other channels to share parish news and make a schedule of when to share.
3. Cultivate Parish “Ambassadors”
They say that word of mouth is the best advertising, and that couldn’t be truer! How many of us have tried a new restaurant, movie, hair product or yes, church, because a friend, coworker or family member recommended it? It’s time to focus on your best customers, capturing their words and encouraging them to share them with others!
You can also request members to share their thoughts digitally. If your parish has already claimed its Google Business page (if not, here’s how to do it! ) you can easily solicit reviews and testimonies from parishioners. A simple request from the pulpit or bulletin announcement may be all that is needed to capture them.
4. Illustrate with Images
Words are not the only way to share your thriving faith community with the world — think photos, too! Be sure to capture events, donation responses, and parish life with a digital camera or even your smartphone! Not only can you use them in the bulletin, but also website, social media, and email!
While you don’t need to be a professional photographer or have thousands of dollars-worth of equipment in order to produce engaging shots, you do want to be intentional when it comes to how you take them. The internet has lots of free tutorials you can utilize, so whether you have a fancy DSLR camera or a three-year-old smartphone, understanding the basics of photography will help you capture some of your parish’s best moments.
Let’s keep the conversation flowing! Check out “Why You Need to Share Parish News Through Print & Digital Avenues,” and “Creative Ways Parishes Communicate Today.”