Tuesday, January 17, 2012

S**t diocesan and parish communicators think, but don't say

Not that I personally have EVER thought any of these things . . .

Actually, bishop, just because you have an IT person does not mean you have a communicator on staff. It means you have an IT person on staff.

You don't "do email" or check the web site because it takes too much of your time, so you want me to stop what I'm doing to give you all the updates on what's going on in the parish/diocese? Seriously?

For the 500th time to a reporter "No, it's not the Episcopalian Church, It's the Episcopal Church. And people who go there are Episcopalians, not Episcopals."

Yes, all that information was in the most recent E-Newsletter, to which you subscribe, and no, I don't have time to read it to you.

Seriously. How long can it take the bishop/rector/senior warden to write a 300-word piece for the newsletter?

No, I didn't post the information about your organization's yard sale because you didn't send it to me. I am good, but reading minds is something I haven't yet mastered.

Yes, I DO want to know who was elected to the vestry at the annual parish meeting. That's why I sent you an email that said, "Please send me the names of those elected to the vestry at the annual parish meeting."

Yes, I know your son is not included in the video of the youth activities at convention.That's because he wasn't there. Yes, I'm sure of that. And no, I don't have any idea why he would tell you he was there if he really wasn't. (But I can guess.)

No, I wasn't at your parish's recent men's chili cook off because I was with the bishop at his visitation to St. Swithin's. I'm sorry but I have not yet mastered bilocation.

Yes, I did see the story on the web site about the bishop's recent trip to your parish. I wrote it.

Where do you find the bishop's schedule on the web site? Click on the tab that says "bishop's schedule."

Yes, I saw the front page story in the newspaper about the Presbyterians who went on a mission trip to Haiti and got trapped in a landslide and had to dig themselves out with spoons, and while I love our parish's ministry to the food bank, no, I cannot make the newspaper do a similar story about it.

No, you are not required to give me your email address, but if you want me to sign you up for emailed news updates from the diocese, it would be very helpful.

Yes, I will be glad to create all that delightful new content for the web site as soon as I dig myself out from under the last pile of work you put on my desk.

Where on the web site do you find the report on diocesan convention? Click on the tab that says "Report on diocesan convention."

Tell me you are not seriously suggesting we buy an ad in the Yellow Pages.

Yes, I really do believe that if our church can't be Googled, we don't exist.

Yes, you do need to update your parish web site. It's January. Most people aren't looking for the Vacation Bible School schedule right now.

Yes, I see you have a smart phone. I'm still not going to give you administrative rights to the diocesan Facebook page.

No, we will not live Tweet your annual parish meeting.

Yes, if you put titles in front of all the names of clergy, you have to put titles in front of all the names of laypeople. Yes. You do.

Yes, I did change the story you submttted. It's called "editing."

I know I can count on my sister and brother communicators to add to this.


PseudoPiskie said...

I'm only the SW but so much of this has come from my mouth. Of course I guess I'm the IT person too. sigh. Thanks!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, I'm not "officially" an Episcopal communicator - yet (my application is being processed) - but as someone who is a priest in the church who has worked on a bishops staff as well as a vicar/rector without any staff, I must say this is wonderful. Thanks.

Muthah+ said...

This must be the week for S**T my father said stories. It is the same for rectors of people who don't read the bulletin or check the website.

Blessings upon you for taking on this work for us all.

WV -- priess

Malcolm+ said...

This wasn't in a church context, and apparently it doesn't mean anything in the UK, but . . .

"There's a -30- at the end of the news release because that's what you put at the end of a news release."

"Oh, and could we call it a news release instead of a press release? I'm intending to send it to radio, TV and electronic media as well."

Meredith Gould said...

I've worked in and around church communications for...a long time and after hearing just about every possible inane comment, I wrote a book about church communications and why it's -- gee whiz -- a *ministry.* Then social media came along and a whole new wave of ridiculousness has emerged. You and your readers might enjoy my XtraNormal response to all that: "Social Media: Don't Be That Church" http://bit.ly/tcOpmw

Enjoy! And pray.

Andy Pierce said...

Going out on a limb here (as, I think, wearing the duals hats of both of the critters in your title)...

Do you really think that your parish rummage sale qualifies as "Diocese News"?

Trust me, making your links on your website green against a red background probably makes someone's eyes other than mine strobe and want to close the page!

Likewise, making your text white against a dark blue background is almost as bad.

We are on Facebook and Google+ because I think they are more important than the emailed news. Perhaps timely articles for those audiences would be appreciated.

Please stop "Liking" stuff on Facebook that we put up. Click "Share" instead. It's the difference between being a fan and an evangelist.

When the statement goes out that "Articles may be sent in any format...except a PDF", please note the word "except" in there... it does not mean the same thing as "especially"

Please don't send me a pdf flier and say "Can you include this?". Take 15 minutes to write an article about what you want to say to the folks reading this. If you don't, it means I have to take 20 minutes to guess what you think is important in the flier and write your article.

We're in the Communication Business. We need to act like we are.

Oh no, I've said too much
I haven't said enough

...thanks R.E.M.!