How to transition from a print hub to a digital hub
Tuesday, June 04, 2019
The church has notoriously created a bulletin (or worship guide) that is the collection of anything important to the congregation. It may have the order of service, scripture that will be discussed in service, obituaries, offering totals, upcoming events, flyers, stories, sermon notes and many other things.
Some are a simple, folded one-page flyer while many others are a printed folder stuffed with inserts of various sizes cascading from within. They take time and money to produce.
Normally, one person’s in charge of the bulletin process to ensure accuracy. And verbal announcements often remind the congregation that they have it in print, too, since the usher has given it to them for their convenience.
All is well, except most people don’t read it.
Why? Because in our world, print materials are disappearing because of the ease of smartphones connecting to up-to-date content. Also, there are many reasons to move from print: quick changes, easy formatting, and cost savings to name a few.
Every church needs to consider switching from a print hub to a digital hub where all communication revolves around the website. Here are the seven steps to make the switch:
1. Ensure your website has a stringent process to make sure content can be easily found, that the content is correct and timely, and it’s mobile-friendly. If not? Don’t make the switch.
2. Start reducing the size of your bulletin and limiting details. Your bulletin this year should be smaller than it was last year.
3. Make sure that your pastor instills confidence in the website from the stage. Everyone must build confidence in your website. For older people? Consider a fun training session for them to access your web content on their phone or computer. It’s easier than they think.
4. Incorporate other digital channels to point to your website (social media, email, texting, etc.). Even your print materials should assure people that everything is on the website too.
5. Stop ushers from handing out the bulletin but have it available to pick up. You’ll be surprised at how few are taken. But if they’re not read, don’t fret! They’ll start understanding that the website and social media has all the events easily found.
6. After a reasonable amount of time, consider only having them available at Guest Services. This has to happen in tandem to announcements referring to the website, social media, or email.
7. Consider adding a Guest/Connect Card only. Visitors can fill it out (in service) or take with them to be reminded of their visit and how to get to your website. You should also have a registration page on your website, too — so guests can pre-register before a visit and members can give requests or add/change information.
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