Browse
Memorial Presbyterian Church is a Juicys Winner - Magazine

Memorial Presbyterian Church is a Juicys Winner - Magazine

Posted November 19, 2015 by Jerod Clark

(The Juicys are a way to recognize and reward those churches who’ve worked to improve their church communications during the last year.  It includes giving them a grant to jump start their next project. To see past winners, click here.)

 

The Project: Illumination Magazine

The monthly newsletter at Memorial Presbyterian Church was dying. It was basically a recap of the month’s Sunday bulletins, with a few other announcements, that become less and less engaging. While it eventually went away, the church leadership knew they still needed a way to communicate with the congregation of 275 and the surrounding Midland, Michigan, community.

 

The Process

In the search for finding the right communications tool, MPC’s communication committee started out by surveying the congregation about how they received information from the church in the past and how they like to stay connected in the future.

That survey showed they really wanted two different things,” says Creative Communication Director Katie Horning. “The first was a monthly calendar and the second was a publication informing them of what we as a church were up too. Thus Illumination was born.”

Illumination started out as bi-yearly publication written by church members and people in the community. (Thanks to its popularity, it will soon become a quarterly publication.) The goal was to not only inform the congregation about church life, but also to let the community learn more about what MPC was doing.

“[We wanted] to create a publication that allowed the community a deeper understanding to who we are as a church and offer an opportunity for visitors to stop by and worship or participate in an event,” explains Katie.

Creating a publication like this takes a dedicated committee with the right people involved. MPC made sure they had a writer, editor and someone with a design eye in the group.

Katie says, “We would warn other churches that producing a 16 - 20 page publication is a huge job. It takes lots of planning and cannot be pulled together at the last minute. It is also something that needs to make sense in your communications strategy and be well thought out.”

What We Liked

The transformation in quality from the old newsletter to Illumination was amazing. It’s a beautiful publication. The process for developing the new magazine was good, too. It would have been easy to ignore print, but a survey of the congregation showed that’s how they preferred to stay connected. A key piece of good communication strategy is understanding your audiences needs.

 

Up Next

While the print publication is working, MPC also realizes it takes multiple communication tools to keep folks connected. Their next project, which will get a $1000 Juicys grant boost, is installing two interactive kiosks to engage younger church members as well as streamlining other church processes.

Katie says, “We are hoping that having interactive kiosks and an app that will help everyone sign their children into Sunday school, print name tags, sign up to volunteer and know what events are coming up.”

Filed under: Communications, Newsletters/Magazines, The Juicys

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (3)

  • Vicki Bott
    10:42 AM
    Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    Our church has only 50 to 60 members but our facility is large enough to double in size.  It would be great to be able to reach out to the community through a newsletter like this but I don’t know if we can afford it.  What does it cost to produce?

  • Barb Pryor
    2:12 PM
    Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    I was wondering the same thing as Vicki above. That looks like a pretty expensive publication; obviously sent to a printer, not done in house. It was also laid out by a professional graphics person, which many churches don’t have access to. Having said all that, it is a very nice publication—I can see where the community would engage with it and possibly decide to check out the church as a result.

  • Katie
    7:24 PM
    Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    Vicki and Barb
    We are blessed to have an excellent communications committee with a professional designer, and several writers on it making this an affordable publication. It is printed at a local print shop, but the costs are very reasonable. I am willing to answer any additional questions you may have via email.

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Planning a Successful Christmas Service
Planning a Successful Christmas Service
0

Posted October 17, 2017 by Bryan Haley

The Christmas season is right around the corner. Let’s talk about things to think about in planning your successful Christmas services.
Responding to Negative Facebook Comments
Responding to Negative Facebook Comments
2

Posted October 10, 2017 by Todd Hertz

Facebook is an open channel between customer and business, congregant and church. So, what do you do when someone leaves a negative comment?
Help Us Help You
Help Us Help You
0

Posted October 3, 2017 by Bryan Haley

We are excited about the future of Church Juice. But, as we continue to make plans, we want to hear from you, to see how we can best serve you, your church, and your community.
Does Your Facebook Page Make a Good Front Door?
Does Your Facebook Page Make a Good Front Door?
2

Posted September 26, 2017 by Todd Hertz

Because so many people are already on Facebook, that can commonly be where someone first encounters your church. Similarly to how you upkeep the front of your building or invest in a good website, you should give some thought to how your Facebook Page represents your church at first look.
Planning Your Fall Outreach: Think Follow-Up First
Planning Your Fall Outreach: Think Follow-Up First
0

Posted September 19, 2017 by Bryan Haley

We put a lot of time into our fall outreach events, bringing new families to our church. But what happens after the event is over is just as important as the lead-up to the event.
Great Communication Matters
Great Communication Matters
1

Posted September 12, 2017 by Bryan Haley

Quality marketing and communication in the church makes a difference. Here’s why.
4 Ways to Leverage Your Church’s Online Presence
4 Ways to Leverage Your Church’s Online Presence
1

Posted September 5, 2017 by Bryan Haley

A church’s online presence is vital these days. Here are four small ways that your church can break through the noise and increase engagement across our online mediums.
Welcome Church Juice’s New Leader
Welcome Church Juice’s New Leader
4

Posted August 21, 2017 by Robin Basselin

Church Juice has a new captain at the helm (and we’re so excited)!
10 Ways to Intentionally Thank Your Church Volunteers
10 Ways to Intentionally Thank Your Church Volunteers
0

Posted April 21, 2017 by Lauren Hunter

It is essential to take the time to thank your volunteers! They help you further your church's mission, vision, and values. So what are some good ways to thank your volunteers? We're here to help!
Our Next Step Forward
Our Next Step Forward
0

Posted February 27, 2017 by Robin Basselin

We want to bring you expert answers on a wider array of church communications questions! We'd like your help driving the topics we tackle here at Church Juice. Take this brief survey to help us understand better how we can help you further energize your church communications!