Churches & Coronavirus

An Essential Communications Strategy

Staying Connected During Coronavirus

Most churches are prayerfully deciding how to address the Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19 situation, carefully balancing strong faith with practical steps to protect members. In some cases, state governments have asked churches to suspend gatherings or banned gatherings of over 250 people. Regardless of what direction your church takes, it is essential to have clear, timely communication. For many congregations social media and email will soon be the primary methods to stay connected for a while.

Still Meeting For Church Services?
  1. Create a dedicated website page with Coronavirus updates, information, FAQs. If possible, create a special notice or popup on your homepage with a link to the page.
  2. Prepare your bulletin and a slide to feature key web addresses for your
    • Dedicated church website page
    • Church Facebook page
    • Email blast signup
    • Church member management software account
  3. Take time during the announcements portion of your service to help members follow / sign up.
    • Don’t expect members to follow through on their own after the service.
    • Provide them with web addresses from Step #2. (If you have a church app you can mention that as well and ask them to enable text notifications.)
    • Provide answers to top FAQs as they enter information on their phones. Post those FAQs on your website.
    • Assign a few tech savvy volunteers to help with individual signup questions after the service or invite questions online or through email.
  4. If members are already signed up for email alerts through church management software, ask them to login and verify their contact information is up to date.
  5. Ask members to communicate with family and friends who may not have attended services how to signup.
Church Services Already Suspended Due to Coronavirus / COVID-19?
  1. Create a dedicated website page with Coronavirus updates, information, FAQs. If possible, create a special notice or popup on your homepage with a link to the page.
  2. Gather web addresses for your
    • Dedicated church website page
    • Church Facebook page
    • Email blast signup
    • Church member management software account
  3. Send an email blast to members.
    • Include a church Coronavirus update.
    • Include the web addresses from Step #2. (If you have a church app you can mention that as well and ask them to enable text notifications.)
    • Ask members to follow your church Facebook page and to ensure their communications preferences are up-to-date in church management software.
    • Also ask them to share the information with family and friends who are church members who may not have received it.
  4. Send duplicate information and requests from Step #3 through a post on your church Facebook page.

Ongoing, WEEKLY COMMUNICATIONS

It’s vital to come up with a content strategy to keep members informed and engaged. Our agency can assist you, but there are many things you can do on your own. For instance:

  • Members need to know which activities have been suspended, corporate gatherings may not meet, but small groups may, etc.
  • If you continue to meet for services you should share safety protocols to follow like staying home if you are sick, using hand sanitizer stations, avoiding shaking hands, etc.
  • If you won’t meet (and government officials estimate it could be 2-8 weeks) you will want to send members updates, weekly teaching, prayer, an opportunity to continue giving, etc. Some churches are already equipped with livestreaming video, others may attempt Facebook Live or a short recorded message with their iPhones.
  • Update your church website and app as well, but rely on social media and emails as your primary communications vehicles. Visiting your website or app is an extra step many people won’t take. Don’t rely on social media like Facebook alone to reach members. Facebook algorithms and user preferences often keep your content from showing in everyone’s updates. We recommend sending the same information in a weekly email blast as well. It’s better to duplicate critical information than it not be received at all.

We’re here to help…

If your church has rarely been active on social media, never sent an email blast or you don’t have a creative / communications staff person, feel free to contact us.

We will work diligently to help you come up with a customized strategy to meet your specific church needs and budget.

Let’s Get Started

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Or call 574.875.8525 – Monday – Friday, 8AM-5PM EST.