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Frequently Asked Questions for working with the Communications Team
How do you work?
Our Team functions like an in-house creative agency for the church, helping each ministry communicate their message in the best way possible. We are responsible for overseeing all of the print and digital media at the church.
We use two main avenues to support ministry teams:
- We create a MEDIA PLAN for you: coverage for an Event/Concept using multiple kinds of media inside and outside the church.
- We create a SPECIAL PROJECT for you: A specific creative piece we produce.
What is a Media Plan and why do I need one?
We look at your event and then add it into the matrix of overall church communications. There are over 60 standard touch points (or ways we communicate) with our church family, and hundreds of other creative options. In a Media Plan, we find the right way to to share information with the right people at the right time.
If you want a something to be promoted, spend 20 minutes with us talking about your work. We promise it will make life easier. We'll even give you coffee.
Once a Media Plan is created, any requests for changes to the Media Plan must be made in person to Paige Ragan only.
What if I just need one thing?
Inserts, postcards, name tags, invitations, targeted emails, posters, brochures, banners and anything else we create gets added to our production calendar. Fill out the “I Need Something” form and we will follow up with you.
What if I’m going to use this thing more than once?
What if I decide to make a promotional piece myself?
Designing promotional pieces yourself makes everyone sad. :( We work hard to create continuity around the First Pres look and brand, and to communicate effectively using our expertise. With your ministry expertise and our communications expertise, we can be an unstoppable team.
If you or volunteer creates a promotional piece for your ministry area and going out for public consumption, you will need to submit it to Communications for review. And if it's ugly, we will tell you and you'll have to edit it.
When creating printed materials or email for your ministry area, ask yourself: is it promotional?
If it's information going to your committee, leadership team, volunteers or current participants, you run the show. If it's information going out to promote anything, it probably falls under Communications. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but it always helps to check in with us.
What if I forgot about the Space-Time Continuum?
If you find you're short on time, let us know. We will do our best to help you find a solution. Before you decide to get crazy with the clip art in Microsoft Word, call us.
The earlier you tell us about your event, the better and more effective your media and cheaper your costs are going to be. The time estimates below often overlap, but they are a good general guideline.
- 4-6 weeks gives us a reasonable amount of time to plan and do our job effectively.
- Design and revision takes 2-3 weeks in most cases.
- Cost estimates can take up to 1 week.
- Fancy printing takes 1-2 weeks (plus shipping). Printing in-house takes much less time.
- Mailing takes 5-10 days.
Deadlines matter. If you don't give us something on time, our magic powers are limited; your materials will probably not get to the right people at the right time. Also, if you give us terrible content, we reserve the right to recruit our toddlers to create drawings of puppies to replace it. We have standards, people.
How do I get something in the magazine?
We publish the Columns magazine quarterly. February, May, August & November. That’s why it's not the best place for promotional news.
The magazine is a great place for content that will equip our congregation for discipleship, prayer, covenant community, generosity, service or worship. Remember that we love stories or ideas where two or more ministries are working together- and information that has shelf-life for study, devotion and encouragement.
We also love helping come up with content ideas to feature your ministry area.
Upcoming Columns Deadlines
Summer Columns (May): April 7, 2017
Fall Columns (Aug): July 7, 2017
Winter Columns (Nov): October 6, 2017
Spring Columns (February): January 5, 2018
Guidelines for Submissions to COLUMNS
- Email your Word document to Paige Ragan & copy Carla Shehane.
- Remember, not everything you submit is guaranteed to be published for that issue.
- Keep the word count at 50-300 words. Transformational stories from individuals should be no more than 500 words. (Ecclesiastes 6:11)
- Proof it. (We really don’t know everyone’s name and favorite color.) We edit the tar out of everything, but we'll always try honor your original intent.
- Please focus the article on equipping and teaching our congregation. Be sure to include a next step for the reader at the end.
- Please include a title for the article, author’s name, ministry, and/or member, student, information. It may change, but this will help us know your intent.
- Please be sure that artwork and pictures are high resolution files of at least 1MB. All artwork and photos are subject to editorial review for usability. Please include the names of those who have submitted the photos. If you don’t, we will make up a name.
The Care & Feeding of Our Brand
Even if you don't particularly care about branding, that's okay. We'll still be your friend.
We do care about branding. And so does our congregation. Think about it: how many people will buy Coke over Publix Cola? Tide over Target Brand Detergent? iPhones over...almost every other less expensive option?
Yes, sometimes branding can be about consumerism and products. But in our case, it's an important component of building visual trust and consistency with our church family and Orlando. Consistent branding helps us to look more intentional and unified as a staff - as well as helping people know a piece is officially from the church. A brand also can be a helpful in building an emotional connection and relationship to the church... but only if we use it.
Logos, typestyles, colors, images and language are all important elements of a brand. If you need any of these elements to give your materials a more "official" feel, we can help.