Throughout the year, we'll be sending you a variety of resources & tips curated by our Senior Staff members that are designed to help our congregations grow in each of their respective areas. If you'd like to dive in deeper on these topics with our Senior Staff team, please update your contact and interest preferences on our website.
Communicating well and compellingly is a consistent challenge, not to mention keeping up with the changing technological landscape. Hopefully this list of resources and tips will help streamline things for you, so you can clearly engage your people the way they want. Best of all, all of these resources are at a very good price, free! If you & your parish ever have communication questions, please feel free to reach out!
#1: Claim Your Congregation's Google My Business Listing
Whether you have a website for your church or not, every congregation should check in with Google My Business to make sure your listing is current, or create one for your congregation. True story, when my husband & I moved to our neighborhood many years ago, we turned to Google to look up what churches were near us. The church we landed at would not have been on our radar otherwise. According to Google (emphasis added), "Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to promote your Business Profile and business website on Google Search and Maps. With your Google My Business account, you can see and connect with your customers, post updates to your Business Profile, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google." You don't have to fill everything out, only the things that are the most relevant to your congregation.
#2: Create Online Forms to Allow Your People to Sign Up & Give Feedback
Perhaps it's just me, but when an organization asks me for feedback or to register for something & just gives me an email address, I find myself less and less likely to go through with it. Just give me an online form that I can fill out quickly, or even better, that my phone can now fill out for me! Creating an online form for RSVP's, surveys or other forms of feedback is as simple as using a drag & drop website. It also has the added benefit of helping you & your church office receive information more consistently with less handwriting deciphering! My tool of choice these days is FormSite, but there are many others out there that could be considered. I like FormSite because it allows a lot of customization & flexibility at every stage from creating the form (tons of field & styling options), to displaying the form (options for a secure link, or embed on a website like a YouTube video) to receiving the results (email notifications, excel exports, etc.). Paid versions also enable integrations with popular online payment processors and other data services. The free version is a little bit limiting, but good to get acquainted with the technology.
#3: Look Beautiful Doing it with Canva
Whether design is or is not your strong suit, you have to know about Canva & give it a shot the next time you need to design anything from a power point presentation to a brochure to a social media post, including many, many form factors in between! Canva is a simple web application that has dozens of content types (e.g. Facebook post, poster, etc.), then for each type, there are dozens of professionally designed templates that you can modify to fit your project. If you don't have photos or graphics to upload, Canva also boasts a large free photo and graphic library, along with more paid photos and graphics, each costing a couple bucks. Canva's mobile app is well-featured for working on the go. Also, tip #3.5, check out the website Creation Swap for more church-oriented graphics & images that can be uploaded into Canva designs, also with a large free library. If you're curious, about 80% of my designs for the diocese, including the banner to this email, are made in Canva!