AUUC Communications Audit
This site is dedicated to my internship for Aiken Unitarian Universalist Church. The church expressed a need to strengthen its communication with the members and friends of the congregation and the community at large. I compiled strategies in four domains to adjust AUUC's communication system to best reach members and friends and the larger community.
Over the course of four weeks, I conducted research on the current communications systems: interviewing church leaders, researching communication tools that are currently in operation and possible alternatives, and reading blogs about effective church communication. Additionally, the congregation was gracious in their participation in a Communications Audit Survey, yielding rich detail about the types of information they seek, how they rate the current systems, and how they prefer to receive updates. After analyzing all of the elements of my research, I found common threads among church leaders and feedback offered from the survey. In this site, I offer some possible solutions and training to accomplish them.
One way broadcasting of information by a sender through e-mail lists, printed/projected announcements, and/or push notifications
Information that is accessible to the user on their terms through a website, bulletin board, or any accessible cache of information
Dialogue among participating parties where questions can be answered. This can be done during a worship service, in a meeting, or through phoning, texting, or e-mailing a person.
In order to effectively communicate with church members, we must maintain a balance of push, pull, and interactive communication. You must find a balance of broadcasting information (push), offering space where people can find information (pull), and use meetings, worship services, and calls, texts, and e-mails as means of exchanging information (interactive). While it is recommended that you use a variety of methods to share information, it is important to limit the amount of steps it takes for users to access information.
In evaluating the strengths and weakness of the communications at AUUC, members and friends concluded that you have a robust website with rich detail on Unitarian Universalism, your congregation, and the services you offer. The church calendar is routinely updated with important and relevant information. Additionally, your Constant Contact subscription, where you send out weekly announcements, effectively delivers timely information to our members and friends. I created a Communications Inventory and included it in the Artifacts section of this site.
Your "pull" resources are well established. You will want to improve our systems for pushing out information and establish mechanisms for feeding the pull tools with topical or relevant information.