Why Parish Employees Shouldn't Work on Communications Projects
Updated: Jun 13
Controversial statement: Parish staff are not equipped to take on large-scale communications projects.
Let me explain.
I have been working at a parish for about a year now doing all of their communications - bulletin, email newsletter, social media, website, etc. - plus their larger marketing work for their anniversary and website redesign.
If you've been following us for a while, you know that the thing I'm most passionate about in terms of church communications is having a really solid welcome campaign in place, essentially the "evangelization plan," if you will.
Guess what I haven't gotten to yet in the year that I've been working there?
Yep. The welcome campaign.
Despite Father asking me to work on it, despite having a billion ideas for how incredible it could be...each week, it falls to the end of my list as bulletin deadlines, emails, and "oh can you just post this quick"'s take precedence in the hours I'm allotted weekly.
Think of that project you've been "working on" for the past year...or two or ten. The church's desperately outdated website. The bulletin that you're still making in Microsoft Word. The ministry brochure that was last updated pre-Vatican II.
"But I'll get to it someday," you protest as you get copied on another email chain between two ministries fighting about who gets the church hall next Tuesday night.
You absolutely could. Whether or not that will happen before the Second Coming is another story.
Listen, I get it. I have 8+ years of church work experience under my belt, and I know that you all wear 9,573 hats. Prioritizing your evangelization efforts is the last thing on your mind when you're drowning in Mass intentions and invoices and chasing down your liturgical ministers who yet again didn't show up this Sunday.
And that's why I started Gloriam.
Because all of those evangelization efforts are really important for your church to thrive. And they're also the easiest thing to put on the back burner as "long-term projects" until suddenly you're $2 million in debt and social distancing isn't just something you do because of a pandemic, but because there's only fifteen families at Mass each week.
Having us as a part of your team means those critical efforts won't take a back seat to the everyday tasks that take up your time.
I know what you're going to say: "That would be great, but we don't have the money for it."
First, you may be able to afford more than you realize. We charge $30 an hour for work for parishes, because we recognize that your parish's budget is probably small, but that doesn't mean your mission isn't worthy of professional marketing help.
Second, your parish's budget could increase dramatically if you put in the work (or have us put in the work) to get you more engaged, active parishioners who recognize your mission and want to be a part of it.
Or maybe your inner protest is because this is your baby, and you've wanted to work on this project for SO LONG.
Our job is not to come in and take all of the fun projects from you. (If you find them fun. If you don't, then why haven't you partnered with us yet?!)
But writing out a site map or configuring a drip marketing campaign can take hours. And unless you work in the unicorn parish that has an extra 20 hours a week lying around to work on these projects (which I'm guessing you don't, since they aren't done yet)...it's time to work with us. Or another marketing agency. Or even a team of volunteers at your parish who can help you make it happen.*
You can be fully involved in the decision-making and planning process and then outsource the implementation to people (aka us) to make it all happen while you're busy doing the work that matters most: ministering to your parishioners.
So let's get those long-term projects off of your to-do list and onto ours. Contact us to get started.
*A note on volunteers: Having a group of volunteers who are willing to help you with marketing is AMAZING. Absolutely utilize their enthusiasm for your parish, BUT make sure you a) retain autonomy over big things like branding and overall mission and b) ensure that they actually have marketing/communications experience and not just enthusiastic opinions.