We communicated in a lot of ways. There wasn't a lot of coordination
among all of the media. A shotgun approach evolved as pieces were added
over the history of the church. We were using:
– Our weekly newsletter, The Story, has been mailed for 52 years.
Newsletters mainly included event information, but also had a pastor's
letter, prayer list, thank you notes, and various other tidbits of
information. Roughly 60% of the information in a given issue of the
newsletter had been published in earlier issues. This was mailed most
weeks (about 40 a year) to 1,200 households.
– Our electronic newsletter was a link to a PDF version of the print
newsletter. Newsletters were also published as a PDF of the print
version. Each week another 400 people received the email with this link.
Bulletin – Each weekend we put a bulletin into the hands of everybody
that attends worship. Other than the order of worship the bulletin also
includes a series of announcements and opportunities to sign up for
Web Site – Our web site was designed in 2006
with a structure focused on first-time visitors to the church. It
contained a news section that included information from the newsletter
(and the PDF version). It also contained an extensive collection of
many of the ministries within the church. When we outlined the web content it amounted to a nearly 30 page outline.
Information Center – Our Information Center sits between the sanctuary and the Fellowship Center (our cafe area). It was staffed by a member of our guest service team and usually covered with sign up sheets and flyers about various ministry opportunities.
Preworship slides – Prior to worship there are a series of
slides that play on the screens in the sanctuary. These same slides
play on a digital signage system throughout the church building.
announcements – During each worship service a pastor makes some type of
announcement. Usually these announcements come from one of the
announcements printed in the bulletin.
Ministry Flyers – Each ministry has been publishing their own flyers. Sometimes they get posted as rogue posters on the walls around the building. They often get stacked at the Information Center as well and passed out at ministry events.
Email Lists – Leaders of a variety of ministries use direct email (either through personally managed lists) or mail sent from Shelby to communicate within the specific ministry.
Random Mailings – Postcards, letters, and other USPS mailings. A few years ago we dramatically cut the amount of mailing (no more reminder postcards for meetings), but there are still letters that get sent out.
Specialized Web Sites – We have a couple of blogs and some Google sites that are used for collaboration by teams. These are used mainly by the arts teams to prepare for worship.
Monday I'll continue this series talking about the results of our communication evaluation.