The all-to-often mistake is to think of the print bulletin and the web things (i.e. website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as totally separate in your parish. The truth is that they both serve much of the same purposes for communication. They should compliment one another and always be “on the same page” (no pun intended – ok, yes, it was intended). For example, your bulletin events should be on your parish calendar on your website. Your bulletin can remind people to visit your website/Facebook page to see photos from an event.
Here are 5 ways to make the two work together more effectively:
- Your web addresses are as important as your other contact information. I’m sure you have the office phone number listed in your bulletin. You should also have the parish website address and adding social icons isn’t a a bad idea either.
- Using QR Codes WISELY. QR codes are wonderful. They do a great job enhancing print. But they are also most incorrectly used piece of tech. The best rule of thumb with QR Codes is that if you are not directing to a mobile display online . . . don’t use a QR Code. Some ways to wisely use QR codes are:
- Add a calendar event
- See photos of an event
- View a video that provides further information
- Give online to your parish or a special cause
- Promote “checking in” on social networks
- Direct readers to your website “for more information”. The biggest mistake I hear and see here to simply state “See the website for more information”. I don’t know about your website, but our’s is over 100 pages. Tell them where on the website to go by listing the website address (i.e. YourParishDomain.com/page) and make sure there really is more information.
- Use important announcements as posts on your website and social networks. One of the main purposes of online is expand our avenues and ability to reach others. So duplicating an announcement or message from the print bulletin to online is a good thing. You may reach that person who hasn’t read the bulletin and it can serve as a reminder to someone who did read the bulletin but then forgets.
- Make your bulletin available for download. This was a top priority and request from our parishioners. Here in Florida it is common for parishioners to be away for many months and they still want to get that bulletin. Many bulletin publishers offer this automatically but you still want to link where they get that online on your website. Email notifications of when it’s available online are nice too if available.
So how do you bridge the gap between your print and online communications in your parish?