Action Step 3.2 in the Unleash The Gospel Pastoral Letter states, “Invest in people, processes and tools that ensure effective, anticipatory and responsive communication to all those engaged or seeking engagement with the Church (internally, as well as with parishes, parishioners and the public).”
The goal here is clear: to use communication and marketing best practices to drive engagement with our parish events, build community, and evangelize the digital space.
The Basics (Need-To-Know)
Parish communication is often focused on one-way information pushing — mainly focused on announcements and events. But our call to communicate to our parish and community goes so much deeper than that!
In ‘The Beauty of Truth,’ Archbishop Vigneron writes, “The words “communion” and “communication” have the same root: They both refer to the bonds that unite us as people and as members of the Body of Christ, and they both require a deep and abiding commitment to the truth and to love.”
Doing videos, graphics, writing articles, taking photos. While those things are good, they need to lead to something better and bigger. They should lead people to Jesus! That’s the measure of success and that’s how we want to think about communications in the transition to Families of Parishes and beyond.
So the first and most important step to take when planning for your parish communications ministry to go on mission is to see it as a two-way channel for reaching people (in your parish pews and beyond) and inviting them into a closer relationship with your community and with Jesus.
Tips for Digital Communications
Your mission territory is increasing with digital natives. Using all the communications tools at your disposal is an essential part of our call to unleash the Gospel!
“If evangelization is to be “new in method,” to the fullest degree possible we must use new media in unleashing the Gospel. Just as St. Paul used the highly developed Roman road system and St. Maximilian Kolbe used the latest printing technologies to spread the Gospel in their times, so we recognize the advances in social media and information technology as God-given opportunities for spreading the Gospel in our time,” Archbishop Vigneron writes in Marker 6.4 of the Unleash the Gospel Letter.
So, building parish community includes doing so on social media channels, with an email newsletter, and a welcoming and informative website.
Resources to get started:
Growing Engagement on Your Channels
Now that you have established a presence on different digital channels, you’re ready to go on mission to grow engagement!
Putting something on your website or social media doesn’t mean people will see it. Here are some tips to beat the algorithm, grow your audience, and nurture your engaged community through digital content.
Resources to grow engagement:
Questions about Communications or Engagement? Feel free to reach out to Emily Mentock, Associate Director of Strategy for the Department of Communications at [email protected]