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Presbyterian Communicators Network launches online communications workshop

Debut workshop focuses on effectively using social media

by Presbyterian News Service

Participants from the Presbytery of the Western Reserve discuss developing strategic communications plans during a communications workshop conducted before the pandemic by Presbyterian Mission Agency staff. (Photo by Gail Strange)

LOUISVILLE — Since 2015 the Communications Ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) has worked tirelessly to breathe new life into a previously little-known resource within the organization.

The Presbyterian Communicator’s Network was created in 2004 as a response to a General Assembly Mission Work Plan. Among other things, the plan called for enhancing communications efforts across the denomination and creating a system that promotes dialogue within the church. The Communicators Network’s primary mission is to link Presbyterians who are officially responsible for communications in their synod, presbytery, or congregation through on-site workshops, e-newsletters, social media and other communications vehicles.

“In 2015, the Communications ministry surveyed numerous congregations and the one thing that was consistently requested was ‘help with communications,’” said Gail Strange, director of church and mid council communications. “Because of those findings we decided to develop and offer communications workshops through the presbyteries. Working through the presbyteries allows the opportunity for several congregations to send participants.”

“The workshops have been successful in helping church communicators understand the need for planning their communications efforts and how best to do that, said Strange. “However, like everything else the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink and reimagine the way we conducted the workshops. So, we are now offering virtual workshops.”

Unlike the previous daylong onsite workshops, the workshops will last for one hour. “Our first workshop will focus on social media,” said Strange. Titled “Getting the Most out of Your Social Media Platforms,” the workshop will be offered at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 27. To participate individuals may register here.

“Now more than ever,” Strange said, “church leaders need to be in touch with their congregations and their communities. This workshop on how to effectively use social media will be extremely helpful to that end.”

Strange noted that the network’s goals include encouraging communicators to receive and distribute information about news, events and resources within the PC(USA); foster camaraderie and continuing education among Presbyterian communicators; and provide hands-on workshops to presbyteries and churches. Workshops are available on core themes such as strategic communications planning, media relations, social media and website development, with other topics available upon request. Since the workshops began, nearly 1,200 individuals from 41 presbyteries have participated in the daylong workshops.

“Membership to the network is open to anyone — paid staff or volunteer — in a synod, presbytery or congregation who has communications responsibilities,” says Strange. “If you’re on a communications committee or if you’re responsible for newsletters, websites, social media or any other form of communications, you’re welcome to join and reap the benefits of membership.”

Some of the benefits Presbyterian Communicator Network members enjoy are:

  • Access to all Presbyterian News Service stories for reprint in church newsletters. Members automatically receive a weekly copy of all news stories via email.
  • Live webinars.
  • Access to a closed Facebook group that regularly schedules live broadcasts relating to communications strategies and topics.
  • Permission to post questions or queries about communications issues on a blog.
  • Communications research and statistics.
  • Logos and artwork to use with newsletters and websites.
  • A listing of all job openings available through the PC(USA) national office.

To join the network, complete the online form, email Gail Strange at or call 800-728-7228, ext. 5340.

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