5 Things to Do During the First Month as a Church Social Media Manager

Your first month of managing your church’s social media can be a stressful one. You want to have immediate wins and show your church the importance of social media. Yet, it can all seem overwhelming.

So where do you start? Do you start publishing content? Do you set a Hootsuite account? The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you should during your first month. I know because I was in that same position a few years ago.

I had to determine when to start publishing content and what channels to focus on. I figured it out, but only after I made few mistakes.

If you’re just starting out, here five key things you need to focus on during your first month. Doing these key things will set you up for up for success in the months ahead. (more…)

What Happens When You Personalize Your Social Media (A Case Study)

There are a lot of easy social media creation tools. I’m impressed by the number of pre-packaged resources that you can use for your church’s social media. Need Instagram graphics? Check our SundaySocial.tv. It’s just one of the many tools out there designed to help make your job a little bit easier.

Of course, while these tools are great at decreasing your workload, they do come with a price. While your audience will love the graphics, there’s a point where your social media can look like everyone else’s. So how do you stand out in a sea of internet memes and inspirational quotes? Personalization.

Personalization is the key to make your audience feel like they have a part of your social media. When they share a post with their friends, they’re saying “This is my church and you should check this out.” It makes them feel a part of something larger than themselves. People want to feel like they are a part of a tribe. (more…)

5 Traits of a Successful Communications Minister

Growing up in a church, I never heard of a “communications minister”. In fact, it wasn’t until I started working with churches that I started to grasp the vastness and difficulties of the job. Depending on where you work, the communications minister can be a PR job, an audio/visual job, and even the person in charge of fixing the copier.

It’s a big job.

At the same time, there are some traits that are universal amongst successful communications ministers. These traits are something that take time to develop, and anyone can learn them with time and practice.

If you can master the traits below, you’ll not only find that your communications ministry will flourish, you’ll also have a better handle on the job itself—which, depending on where you work, can be a tricky thing.

Are you ready to learn what the five traits of a successful communications minister are? Okay, let’s dive in. (more…)

Ask Darrel: The Communicator’s Fall Reading List

Welcome to Episode 66 of the Ask Darrel podcast. On this episode I’m giving you my fall reading list of books you should check out.

I know not everyone loves to read, but you can’t grow as a communicator or leader if you’re not willing to read. On this episode, I walk you through a list of books that have personally impacted me and how I communicate.

Also, don’t forget that the That Church Conference is coming up. If you want to watch the whole thing via live stream, just head over here and enter the coupon code “DCT” to get a discount. You won’t want to miss it.

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Why You Need a Church Communications Calendar

When you’re running social media or communications for church, one of the first things you’ll hear people tell you is to establish a social media calendar. A social media calendar will organize your social media channels and give you a clear sense of where your content is going to be published. In fact, some social media dashboards like Hootsuite, come with a social media calendar built right in.

The problem is that a social media calendar only solves part of your problem. You still need to deal with all of the other communication channels (i.e., announcement videos, website, and bulletins). In short, you need a larger view of all your communications.

So it’s time you start using a Church Communications Calendar. A Church Communications Calendar is a document that outlines all your major promotions for your church. I’m not talking just social media; I’m talking every part of your communications system.

A Church Communications Calendar gives you and your communications team a visual so everyone can see what everyone is doing across the board. This keeps your team in sync. Don’t know when the promotional video for the missions ministry is to be shown in worship? When will that same video be published on Facebook? (more…)

The One Question to You Need to Answer About Church Multi-Sites

Church multi-site communications can present a unique set of problems. For starters, every campus will share some of the main campus’s DNA in terms of branding, website, and central resources (i.e. financial and membership resources).

Yet, tugging at the heart of each campus is the desire to make itself unique. Every campus wants to figure what makes them different from all the other campuses. Is it the location? The building? Style of worship?

These are the type of questions that can keep a communications team up at night. With every little difference of a campus, you find something doesn’t scale (i.e. every campus has their own bulletin). And when things aren’t scaling, serving every campus equally can be near impossible.

So how do you rectify this problem? How do you get control of the situation and get a sense how to best serve all your campuses? Well, I think it can be done, and it starts with asking this question: (more…)

Ask Darrel: Design Tools for Those on a Tight Budget

Welcome to Episode 65 of the Ask Darrel podcast. On this episode we’re going to talk about design tools for those of us on a budget.

Adobe Creative Suite is the standard when it comes to design tools for most of us in the communications world. However, it does come with a price tag and for a lot of us, that price tag is too much for our church budgets.

However, there are some solid alternatives that can come pretty close to some of Adobe Creative Suite’s main features (i.e. photo editing, illustration). Today, I’m going to walk through some resources that can get the job done when it comes to photo editing, logo design and fonts.

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