Appointed Communications and Outreach Adviser to newly formed church music and mission support network ‘ChurchMusicFuture’
I am delighted to announce that CommunicationsPoint and FundraisingPoint have been invited to be Advisers to the brand new enterprise ‘ChurchMusicFuture’ (CMF) – I have been invited to be Communications and Outreach Adviser, while Catherine Demetriadi has been appointed Fundraising and Development Adviser.
ChurchMusicFuture (www.churchmusicfuture.com) is a community of like-minded people who believe every church should – and can – have good music for its worship and mission. CMF is a support network that’s been designed for clergy, musicians, and congregations alike. Its people, events, information, and guidance can help the nation’s churches put music back where it belongs – at the heart of the liturgy.
CommunicationsPoint is delighted to give guidance to individual churches, clergy and musicians in promoting their music, liturgy, mission, and events. FundraisingPoint will help with fundraising and development.
In this respect, I have drawn up guidelines below as to ‘Why Church Communications Matter and When to Use a Consultant’:
What is the point of church communications?
- Provide information to parishioners – via church notices, local radio, TV and press – about church concerts, choral fundraising events, fetes, flower festivals, congregation development, recruitment campaigns for new choristers and volunteers; openings at the church for musicians such as visiting organists or music directors, church restoration appeals, charity events; and human interest stories re: personal achievements of clergy, choir (e.g. choral awards) and congregation members (e.g. long-service wards for volunteers).
- Market choral and church activities
- Inform targeted audiences about your church’s choral and key activities at both local, county and national level. If your church is of particular historical interest, for example, ensure you research special interest groups such as local historical societies, National Churches Trust (for repair and revitalisation of church properties), and tourist boards, and keep them updated about your activities and indeed tailor activities to their needs. This could help increase your congregation, help with building restoration, bring in extra revenue and generate greater awareness of your church through positive media coverage
- Thank donors re: church restoration appeals or any other fund-raising campaign or voluntary support organisation – i.e. friends of the church
- Development of parish magazines and newsletters to keep the congregation and donors updated, and build public confidence in the church
- Prove to future donors that your church is worthy of their support – news, demonstrating good financial management; use the history of the building for attracting donors for restoration projects and visitors; and let people know who else is supporting the church
- Receive unbiased editorial in the form of news items, feature articles or media comment
How is it done?
- Think simple first: phone, letter, email
- Banners, fliers, brochures, publication inserts
- Targeted and general newsletters (including e-communications) to congregation, donors, community and general public
- Parish magazines and targeted media
- At charity and community events
- Press releases and follow-up
- Podcasts and video presentations
- Blogs, Tweeting, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media
Who does it?
- Trained and specialist staff
Why would we use a consultant?
- For impartial, honest, bespoke advice on what needs to be done for your particular church
- To give your church the benefit of a comprehensive media distribution list (e.g. Cision) that includes all church press (e.g. Church Times, Methodist Recorder), provincial and national media
- To establish the credibility of your church
- To impart to clergy, laity and church staff and governing bodies an understanding of what constitutes a good news story, feature article, and general media opportunities – whether for print, social media, or TV and radio
- To put together a communications programme (including all relevant social media) and train new or current clergy and church staff members, whenever they lack the skills for a particular communications project
- To assist in the launch of a new or short-term campaign (e.g. organ or church restoration that requires fundraising)
- To give a professional introduction to communications to newly appointed clergy , church staff and volunteers
- For immediate, expert communications support during an external crisis: safeguarding scandal, public employment dispute, loss of major funding, significant change in strategy, etc.
Things to look for in a communications & marketing consultant:
- A strong rapport – it is vital for you to have confidence in your consultant and feel free to have frank exchanges with him/her
- Experience, honesty, and enthusiastic references
- The ability to listen and a willingness to ask you hard questions
- A working knowledge of the latest and most effective forms of communication
- Someone who does not make grandiose promises for which there is no guarantee of success, such as filling every seat at your event or increasing attendance in your church by an unrealistic percentage. Rather, a consultant should be using his/her skills to identify and implement the correct method for each communications objective that you have mutually agreed
- Also make sure, when hiring an agency, that you are comfortable with the staff member assigned to your church
© CommunicationsPoint Ltd 2015
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