What is a communication plan?
The objective of a communication plan is to create strategies and processes that spread the message of a particular organization, solicit donations and call for volunteers. A good communication plan is vital for transparent parish messaging and supports parish unity. The parish communications volunteer has a specific task, to help share the parish mission with the internal and external parish community. They can achieve this through a variety of different strategies. In the private sector, people involved in communications often have marketing, public relations, or previous communications background. The communications department is the department responsible for the growth of the organization, so a communications plan is important.
What is a communications coordinator?
The benefit of having someone dedicated as your communications coordinator is the focus they will bring to establishing a strategy and plan that not only maintains the health of the parish, but facilitates parish growth and development. This portfolio can either be added onto an existing portfolio in your parish or be a separate role, having one individual assigned to this important job. The role of the communications coordinator is to ensure that the overall vision of the church is being effectively communicated internally and externally. Everything your church does or says falls under communications umbrella, so it is vital that everything your church communicates to others aligns with the overall parish mission. An effective communications coordinator understands how to reach people both in your pews and outside the church and can relate to each. If you have a parish team with separate individuals who manage your mailing list, bulletins, and social media respectively, the team must ensure all individuals are informed and will help promote parish activities and events.
How a communications coordinator in your parish is vital.
Depending on the needs of the parish, a specific volunteer for communications is one of the most important portfolios on the parish pastoral council. A communications coordinator will execute the communications plan which will:
- Deliver vital information to your parishioners in the most effective way.
- Establish good public relations – having a communications person helps communicate information beyond the walls of your parish and out into the community, promoting parish events and organizations that evangelize new audiences and foster long-term growth in parish membership.
- A communications coordinator helps coordinate traditional communications (posters, brochures, bulletins, mail), digital communications (social media, websites, email, video, photography, podcasts), and the promotion of parish identity (parish logos, colours, mission statement, slogans, presentations, public relations, and outreach campaigns).
How do I find a communications coordinator?
First, identify the needs of your parish based on its size. A small parish will have a very different need in communications than will a large parish. Write down the top areas of improvement you’d like to see. Next, canvas your parish for an individual or a team of individuals to help achieve your goals. If you are a large parish, roles can be shared by a team to avoid volunteer fatigue. Smaller parishes can focus on a different area of communications each year. For instance, your parish can focus on improving traditional communications one year and then focus on improving digital communications the following year.
We can help with your training.
Our eparchial communications department can help you get started! We are here to answer questions, offer advice, and exchange ideas to support an effective communication plan in your parish. If you need help or have a question, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.