QUESTION FROM PHOENIX, AZ: Do you endorse different Facebook pages for the different departments? I'm looking for a way ministry leaders can get pertinent info out to those interested without clogging up main communication channels in the church. It seems there would be challenges ensuring those pages reflect our values and don't get us into any sticky situations.
I wholeheartedly endorse this approach. When it comes to corporate communications, there is a balance between institutional control and individual empowerment. It looks a little different depending on each environment, but here are some simple thoughts around the concept.
You're eliminating a content bottleneck. Help ministry stakeholders set up a profile with a standard church framework but let them run their own content.
You're developing a team. Make sure someone with a global perspective of your church communications does regular, organic spot checks of the different pages you may have for your church. They should be looking for opportunities to celebrate good examples and help equip people who might need some a little coaching.
You're demonstrating human diversity. Remember, your ultimate all-church values are not defined by social media sameness. They are lived out in varying expressions across the life of the church. The overarching goal of this approach is to allow key leaders to contextualize dialogue for their specific audience. The last thing you want is a bunch of over-corporatized, sterilized Facebook pages across different ministries. Variety is part of what makes every family great. And, your church is a family of personalities.
You're being honest. The definition of "excellence" is different based on size, scope and channel. People expect a little imperfection and actually appreciate rare authenticity from an institution. Shoot for overall "cohesiveness" not perfect "consistency."
You're working smart. Centralize the "wayfinding" and eliminate redundancy across pages by coaching individual FB admins to stick to their sphere; only post what's relevant and related to their niche and next steps. Make it clear they're not taking on all of social media for the whole church, just next steps for their team or department.