Communications 101

Welcome to the Communications 101 Toolkit!

Communications ministry in a church environment is not an easy thing. That’s why we’ve put together a toolkit for you to learn the essentials of communications in a church context. After taking this mini-course, you should feel more prepared and confident to participate in (or start) your church’s communications program.

Below you will find 10 resources that introduce the reader to the topic of Communications in the Episcopal Church and allow you to create plans and action steps to produce communications strategies. Included are a broad range of topics and exercises that can be completed on your own time and at your own pace such as branding, storytelling and hybrid church that cover best practices in ministry as well as roadmaps for the future. For more resources, explore the Communications topic on ECF Vital Practices,

  • The Ministry of Communication by Sandy Webb (5 minutes)

    In this blog post, the Rev. Sandy Webb urges us to consider church communications as a ministry in itself, not just as infrastructure supporting other ministries, and he lays out a set of principles that congregations of any size can use in developing stronger communications.

  • If You Want to be Understood by Ken Kroohs (5 minutes)

    The Rev. Ken Kroohs details three areas where communications—and our thinking—can go astray and shares tips for creating meaningful conversations with a congregation and the wider community.

  • Telling Our Story by Annette Buchanan (5 minutes)

    In this brief article, the Rev. Canon Annette Buchanan discusses how important it is to tell our story, whether personal, congregational or denominational.

  • Developing a Communications Plan presented by Rebecca Wilson and Jim Naughton (90 minutes)

    In this webinar, Rebecca Wilson and Jim Naughton focus on how to figure out what you want to say (your message) and who you want to say it to (your audiences), then explore how your answers to those questions will shape your efforts in communications and evangelism.

  • Communication Tune-Up by Bob Williams (30 minutes)

    The Rev. Canon Bob Williams gives suggestions on communications strategy from the Media in Ministry class at Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, California. Based on his article, can you come up with five changes to your current communications?

  • Church as Brand by Ken Mosesian (60 minutes)

    In this thought-provoking piece, Ken Mosesian uses the language of marketing to frame a conversation about what churches offer to those whom they serve. Based on his essay, discern what your church’s promise is to your parishioners and list five things you could do to make that promise known to people inside and outside your church.

  • Your website: A communications hub by Kris Lee (45 minutes)

    The Rev. Canon Kris Lee explores the importance of your website and its central role in communicating with and about the church community. He writes, “The goal is to reach and stay in contact with as many members and others as possible and to encourage their continual feedback and input of idea and questions.” In this article, Kris gives a number of practical tips that you can use to reach that goal. Pick five and plan how you will implement them to produce a top-notch website.

  • We’re in Jesus’ Marketing Department by Sandra Montes (30 minutes)

    Dr. Sandra T. Montes explains the importance—and the challenges—of effective bilingual, multi-cultural communications. Based on her article, write five action steps that you can take that will help you to spread the good news in English and Spanish or another language represented in your community.

  • Build Your Own Social Media Calendar by Kjerstin Besser (30 minutes)

    ECF’s Associate Director of Communications and Adaptive Ministry Kjerstin Besser walks us through building a social media calendar and best practices. She writes that “social media content calendars are exactly what they sound like—a way to organize and plan your social media copy and assets across all of your channels.” After reading her article, try putting together your own social media calendar using Google sheets.

  • Take Better Pictures for Social Media by Kris Vieira (20 minutes)

    Want more engagement on your Facebook page? Take better pictures! Kris Vieira says that Facebook posts with images produce 650% higher engagement than text posts. This short article contains tips on how to take great photos for social media. After you read it, take your smart phone out and practice!