Congregations can communicate in many ways to establish and strengthen their religious community, grow their membership, and raise awareness of Unitarian Universalism beyond your congregation's doors. Every congregation can do public relations to get the word out within their community.
Ministers and congregational leaders play a vital role as a voice for Unitarian Universalism in local communities. Here are a few tips for developing a communications/media relations strategy.
- Pay attention to your brand identity, a shared way for Unitarian Universalists to effectively communicate who we are, what we do, and why it matters. Downloadable resources are available.
- Consider the "user experience" of your external communications. The online training Outreach and Growth in a Time of Change (separate login required) will guide you!
Your Congregation's Website
Websites usually provide the first encounter that seekers and potential visitors have with your community. It's also the go-to place for members and friends to look up important information.
The UUA offers an inexpensive and easy-to-use UUA WordPress Theme for Congregational Websites which you can use as a framework for your own congregational website without needing to know how to program with html.
Learn more about congregational websites.
Most congregations have moved completely to emailed communications (with exceptions for accessibility where a paper version might be needed). This has given congregations flexibility and saved money and natural resources. It's important to be strategic about how often to communicate.
- Having a weekly "e-blast" that goes out mid-week can share information about the weekend's Sunday service and other upcoming events.
- Congregations offering online services might consider sending out a short email on Sunday morning with just the service information as a courtesy.
- Staff columns, stories about past events, updates from the board/teams/committees should be sent in a format that signals that it doesn't need to be read immediately. These types of items can go at the end of the weekly "e-blast" or in a separate, magazine-like publication.
- Most congregations find it helpful to subscribe to an online email system to send and track email newsletters, announcements and communications. The following vendors are used by many congregations:
“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” —Sydney J. Harris
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, oh my! Here are some tips and tools to help your congregation's social media presence.