Presbyterian Communicators Network links communicators to enhance church-wide communications efforts
by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – A 2015 survey and assessment has seemingly breathed new life into a previously little-known resource within the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s (PMA) Communications ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Presbyterian Communicator’s Network was created in 2004 as a response to a General Assembly Mission Work Plan. The plan called for, among other things, 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.
“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.”
Strange noted that the network’s goals include encouraging communicators to receive and distribute information about news, events, and resources within 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. In 2017 workshops are scheduled for one week in May, June, October, November and December along with a social media workshop at Big Tent, July 6-8. For more information about scheduling a workshop through a presbytery for 20 or more communicators, visit the Communicator’s Network workshop page.
“Membership to the network is open to anyone — paid staff or volunteer — in a synod, presbytery or congregation that 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 a Presbyterian Communicator Network member enjoys include:
- 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
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