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2020 Conference Materials

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2020 Meeting Minutes


Building Your Communications Plan (offered twice)

Josh Hornbeck, Canon Missioner for Communications, Diocese of Olympia

Having a solid communications plan as a foundation is an essential tool in our day to day work as communicators, but it is even more imperative when we are communicating in times of crisis. This workshop will look at the fundamental components of a communications plan, building up from the organizational level (mission, vision, values), to the identity level (messaging, branding), and into the experiential level (websites, social media, newsletters, etc.). We’ll also explore defining our audiences, messaging tactics, and finding our voice.


Communication plan worksheet

Website Analytics

Joseph Merrill, Digital Communications Manager, Trinity, Boston

How do you greet someone when they peer in the “church” door digitally, while also protecting their anonymity? How do you give them welcoming content tailored to what they are looking for? Learn what tools you need to set up, and what costs you should expect. Bring your laptops! You'll leave with a roadmap to set up and implement your analytics.

Images: Best Practices

Jeremy Tackett, Senior Manager for Creative Services, the Episcopal Church

Our world is image-heavy with the proliferation of photos, graphics and video on websites, in printed material, and for social platforms. A high-quality image can set you apart, while a low-quality image can convey being "behind the times." But we don’t always have just the right image at our fingertips. Hear about best practices for finding and using images for your content, avoiding legal issues – from copyright to photography permissions – and learn more about TECStock, the Episcopal Church’s new stock photography site.


Kendall Martin, Communications Manager, Episcopal Migration Ministries

New mediums provide opportunities to tell stories and connect with our communities where ever they are. Podcasts are not new but are increasingly common among churches and nonprofit organizations. This session will cover some of the basics for getting started on your own podcast, with tips and ideas for technology, distribution and ensuring your message gets through in an audio setting.


Communications strategy conversation (open forum)

Hosted by Jason Merritt, Forward Movement

Due to a last minute cancelation, the Strategic Communications session has been converted to an open forum to discuss communications strategy, especially in our current landscape. Discussion notes and concepts will be used for future Episcopal Communicators webinars and conferences. 

Social Media 201 - Engagement in the Digital Neighborhood

Alli Gannett, Digital Storyteller, Diocese of Connecticut

Online communities are communities, and online friends are our neighbors, ass Christians we are called to love our neighbors and are for those who are near. Social media is a wonderful tool to spread the Good news of Christ to this broken and beautiful world. It has, and will continue to be, used for harm, as it was created by humans. But through its flaws social media still has the unique ability to connect individuals at anytime from anywhere – creating new neighborhoods and redefining who are our neighbors. Pages, groups, our own personal feeds all are opportunities to be in communion with others and share the love this world needs.

Content Calendars

Jeremy Tackett, Senior Manager for Creative Services, the Episcopal Church

Implementing your communications plan requires juggling the many communications avenues available. As we prioritize the channels we've always used – bulletins, newsletters, websites and emails – how we carry those same messages through social media often gets put off until the last minute. In this session, learn from a master of content how to use a content calendar to balance your priorities and follow through on your communications plan. Get a look at the Episcopal Church content calendar, learn how to begin your own calendar, and discuss how a calendar assists in tracking impact and collaborating with your ministry partners.

Communicators as Instruments of Peace

Alan Yarborough, Church Relations Officer, Office of Government Relations

Civil discourse is a tool for turning the goals and dreams expressed in protests into a legal and policy reality, and for moving our activism from the necessary realm of movement building into the specific and granular conversations required for creating legislation and policy. But what is civil discourse? Is it different than civility? This workshop explores components of civil discourse that you can apply in your work as communicators, followed by a guided discussion on the limits of civil discourse and the relationship with the concept of civility.


Storytelling with Racial and Ethnic Consciousness

Miriam McKenney, Director of Development & Mission Engagement, Forward Movement

How do you tell the story of your church, diocese, or organization? Explore the elements of a great story while paying attention to bias and perspective so that you can tell the story of our church as a place that sincerely welcomes all who seek to know the love of God through Christ.

Working as a One-person Communications Shop

Moderator: Natalee Hill, Associate for Communications & Administration, Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia Panelists: Walter Baer, Archdeacon, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe; Gerlene Gordy, Communications, Navajoland Area Mission; and Nina Nicholson, Director of Communications & Technology, Diocese of Newark

Working as a one-person communication team has its challenges. The old clich├ęs are true. A person has to "wear many hats" and "juggle many balls." Our panel of Episcopal Communicators who work as a one-person communication team will give you an inside look at their workflow and the resources they draw on as they tell the stories of the loving, liberating and life-giving way of Jesus Christ within their communities.

Media Relations

Steve Richards, Communications Director, Episcopal Diocese of Rochester

We all know how valuable the strength of the local media can be. But how do you get their attention? First, we will chat about how to create relationships with the various media outlets in your market. Not all news outlets focus on the same brand of content. We will also discuss internal agendas amongst the various media outlets, and how aim effective pitching techniques to the proper mediums. Finally, when the tables are turned, we will discuss crisis management techniques when the media comes knocking on your door.

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