Who would have imagined that nearly two years after a nationwide shutdown because of COVID-19, this country and the rest of the world would still be reeling from this virus and that our entire way of communicating would be dramatically impacted?
While some congregations have returned to in-person worship, most churches are conducting hybrid services. Through technology, we are able to help members feel connected and to let them know that while they may not be in the building, they are still part of the church.
As professional communicators, our appreciation for technology has deepened as we have come to realize that we can communicate with our congregations through various platforms and various means of technology.
In this issue of the Presbyterian Communicators Network E-newsletter, we look at communications tools and trends that will help us better communicate with our congregations in 2022.
More effective use of social media analytics and insights to develop more relevant content
- As digital communications become increasingly important, social media channels continue to gain momentum and have proven to be critical communications tools. To develop content that best meets the needs of your congregation, communicators will need to pay attention to the analytics related to their platforms to provide content that is authentic and relevant to their interests.
More information disseminated through short-form video
- Short-form videos have continued to gain popularity across all communications platforms. These videos are not just for entertainment, but they can deliver an important message to your congregation quickly and perhaps with greater impact than written messages. And while the videos are not just for entertainment, they will need to have an entertainment quality. Make sure your videos are well-lit and have good sound quality.
Promoting your messages on TikTok or other video platforms
- When we hear TikTok, we might think it’s only relevant to younger folk. TikTok, a popular social media app that allows users to create, watch and share short videos shot on cellphones, is a great way to introduce a new Bible study, an upcoming sermon series or perhaps another special activity at your church. As communications professionals, we will need to learn to use platforms like TikTok to reach across the demographics of our congregation. There are other platforms like TikTok such as:
- Industry professionals note that one key communications trend for 2022 will be a continued shift from email to messaging apps. Over 3 billion people used messaging apps in 2021, with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat being the most popular. These apps present some privacy concerns, but all is not lost. Signal, another popular app, is described as “hyper-focused on privacy and security.”