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Get Your Church Noticed 2016
Transcript of Get Your Church Noticed 2016
Neil Pugmire, communications adviser
Church of England Diocese of Portsmouth
Book published by
Church House Publishing,
How did Jesus communicate?
He knew his
He knew his
What is our
'Church is fun, not dull?'
'We care about our community'
OR....'Please join us - but only on our terms'
'We want your money'
What is our
People living in our parishes
Those who use your church/church hall
Specific group over-represented in your parish (students/over 50s)
People not like us!
emails, closed Facebook group
mission-oriented website, magazine delivered to every household
discussion forum on website, #askthevicar on Twitter
history of church on website, clear labelling of items in church
activities listed on mobile-friendly website, welcome pack
public Facebook page, photos of children on posters
Instagram, Snapchat, What's App
adverts in wedding brochures, wedding fairs
Bible studies by podcast,
Church of the Good Shepherd,
Sometimes the medium is the message. How you say it can be more important than what you say
images, not words
stories, not events
symbols, not abstract concepts
100 Ways To Get Your
1. Set up a communications team to decide on priorities
6. Decide the kind of identity your church wants to have and create a suitable logo
10. Keep your building open during the day
14. Redesign your church's entrance or foyer to make it look more attractive
26. Revamp your noticeboards to suggest a more vibrant congregation
20. Create a prayer guide to help people engage spiritually
36. Produce a welcome pack with essential information about church activities
50. Produce well-designed posters with attention-grabbing images, fewer words and more colour
54. Ask your congregation to subsidise the magazine as a form of outreach
57. Encourage your editors to edit
58. Include stories of faith from your congregation
60. Revamp the design of your parish magazine
61. Improve the production of your magazine
62. Create a more effective distribution system
67. Recruit someone to report on good news in your church
68. Learn to write press releases that will be used
74. Create a church website or update your existing one.
77. Put spiritual resources on your website so web users can engage with their spirituality at home.
78. Offer to pray for people's individual needs.
79. Look at web streaming of digital video images showing church activities or services on your website.
82. Learn to use social media to promote your church
83. Create a Facebook page or group for your church
85. Create a Twitter feed for your church
86. Create a Youtube channel for your church
Do market research
People like to read news
People like to read about other people
: use faith stories; people stories to publicise events
People like to see photos of other people
People like to read about local things
Need to be more proactive
Encourage your editor to edit
HOW ARE WE VIEWED?
For the literate
public face of your church. Can share photos & information, invite people to events. Appears in people's 'news feeds' when they 'like' your page
members-only, closed group by invitation only. Discussion among congregation, prayer requests
Share photos & information, 140-character limit. Everything is public
upload short videos of church events/activities
Get Your Church Noticed
Something out of the ordinary
Something capable of being visual
About people, not events
What is news?
Do it in advance
Think about who, when, what, where, why & how
Avoid jargon (or explain it)
Keep it short
Include contact numbers
Send by email
Follow it up
What does your building say about you?
Closed or open?
Intimidating or welcoming?
Rooted in ritual or informality?
Old-fashioned or modern?
Cold or warm?
Full of junk or untidy?
Providing spiritual resources or not?
Image is most important thing: keep words to a minimum
Use colour where you can
Print professionally for big events: 500-1,000
Use posters in people's homes, workplaces, cars, plus libraries, shops & community centres
Why bother with the media?
To keep the rumour of God alive
Restore a balanced perspective
To correct misconceptions
To have our say about issues
Why use social media?
two-way communication, not one-way broadcasting
happening in real time, no time lag
depends on our network of friends, who we trust more
Not magic way of solving publicity problems/reaching young people
Requires constant attention: instant medium means people expect instant replies
Another way for people to complain. Dealing with complaints graciously in public says something about you
Being first with great content:
stories about people, images, video
humour, injustice and empathy. Vocabulary of social media is emotional, not rational
your thoughts are important. We aren't preaching at you
PEOPLE RESPOND TO...
basic information about location, style of worship, children's groups, heritage, weddings/baptisms/funerals
private area/bulletin board for discussion
& prayer requests
suitable for mobiles/tablets
Use a template:
Church Edit/Wordpress/Django Church
who will update it and how?
large photos on each page
Minimum number of words on each page
Easy navigation system:
fewest clicks to get to where we need to be, only add pages if vital
share pages via social media
what services are like, activities for different age groups, events
what we believe, why do we worship this way, stories of faith from congregation
Ask questions that outsiders are asking:
toilets, parking, postcode, creche, noisy children, what to wear
prayer requests, ask questions, book church hall/session with vicar, sync Google calendar, tour of church
don't just add PDFs of weekly leaflet...
edited two-minute snapshots of church life
keep in touch with us
Live streaming of services
A Church Near You:
you are already online!
WHAT SHOULD I SHARE?
1. Announcements about events/activities
2. Links to your own web pages (including
'vicar's blog', faith stories from congregation)
3. Links to other people's web pages (retweet/
share items of interest)
4. Photos/videos from your events/activities
5. 'Backstage' photos/preparations
6. Ask for people's opinions about faith &
respond to them
7. 'Live-tweet' an event/service/sermon
8. Suggested prayers
Find out about media outlet
Live or pre-recorded
Prepare three things to say
Have a conversation/smile!
Call to action
Ask them to read back quotes
Media aren't interested in the Church
They are, but their definition of 'news' might not be the same
Media is anti-Christian/anti-Church
Media is pro-little guy, anti-big guy
Manage the crisis, not the media
Phone diocesan communicator before the media call you!
Agree a statement:
Compassion: for victims
Control: what safeguards in place
Commitment: what will change
All media directed to one point
Stick to what you've prepared