3 Tips to Keep Your Church From Dropping the Communications Ball During the Summer

beach ballHave you seen this at your church?

You get into June and July and everyone at your church starts going on vacation.  You go out of town yourself and maybe miss a Sunday or two.  You get back into town and wonder what’s going on at church, so you go to the church website only to find that it hasn’t been updated for weeks.

Turns out the person who updates your church’s website has been on vacation too, so now everybody’s out of the loop.

Here are 3 tips to prevent this from happening at your church.

1) Use an online content management system (CMS).

If your church website is done by someone using desktop website development software like Dreamweaver or (cringe) Frontpage, you are hosed when that person is unavailable.  A better option is to switch to an online content management system.  You can go with a conventional web hosting account and install a CMS like Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress.  Or, many web hosting accounts come with a pre-installed web builder, like we do with our NE1 Web Builder.

This gives you the ability to update your church website from any web-accessible computer.  It also makes it easier for you to have more than one person updating your website.  Which leads to tip #2

2) Train more than one person to update your website

If your church uses a content management system, make sure you have at least one back-up person who can update the website when the person primarily responsible for that is out of town, sick, or otherwise unavailable.

3) Create a plan

Before the person who updates your church website bolts to the Bahamas for 3 weeks, put together a plan for how things will work when they’re gone.  Make sure all staff and key volunteers know when the person is going to be unavailable, who is responsible for updating the website in the interim, how to contact them, what the deadlines are, etc.

Do you have a plan in place to make sure your church doesn’t drop the communications ball over the summer?  If so, what does it look like?

[image by valentinap]

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

3 Responses to “3 Tips to Keep Your Church From Dropping the Communications Ball During the Summer”

  1. I think the best way (besides the great suggestions you gave) to cope with down time is to have an editorial calendar, where key concepts, events, etc. are scheduled into a website editorial calendar. Summer is a great time to do staff profiles, profiles of people in ministry, etc. and this is also content you can work on anytime during the year, as long as it isn't time-sensitive. I suggest doing editorial calendars quarterly at the very least–and have one large communications calendar that includes website content along with all the other marcom the staff i involved in.

    Also, local website design companies may offer CMS through customized backend panels that can be updated from any computer anywhere if you prefer to stay local rather than go with an online service like those mentioned above. Thanks Paul!

  2. I am genuinely pleased to read this weblog posts which includes tons of useful information, thanks for providing these kinds of statistics.

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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by OurChurch.Com and Paul Steinbrueck, michaelgholmes. michaelgholmes said: Reading: "3 Tips to Keep Your Church from Dropping the Communications Ball This Summer" (via@ourchurchdotcom) http://ow.ly/23dm1 Good stuff! [...]