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My name is Brittany. I recently took over the Media Department at my church. It is a mess. I am a graphic design student. I have a semester left to finish my Associate Degree. I have an interest in Photography. My responsibilities are the church website, print media, photography, and social media.
And I kinda know what I want to do but don't know where to start. The whole website needs a new look but my weakness is website design. I am familiar with the programs Photoshop, Quark, InDesign, and Gimp. We use Word Powerpoint for projection. Where do I start with organizing the Media Ministry?
Yeah, you don't want to reinvent the wheel creating a web design from scratch. Our media director is like you -- a talented graphic designer, but no web hacking skills. He started with the Wordpress "Cleancut" theme and quickly built our web site from there. It makes it TONS easier to maintain that way too.
Mark Petereit - iOS Development Team Leader
Family Worship Center, Florence, South Carolina
Having hit the weak spot (web) let's talk about the others.
What is the vision and mission of your church? Have those statements in front of you the entire time.
What goals do you have for print, photography and social media? Remember for goals to be meaningful, they must be measurable. Here's some sample measurable goals in one area.
This example may not be meaningful at all in your particular situation. It's just an idea starter. Define the questions you have as specifically as possible. Turn them into measurable goals with realistic time limits. Start with the goals you need to both get a hand on things strategically (long term) and manage things tactically (weekly).
While doing this, you may come across crazy stuff being done a certain way because "we've always done it this way." Those are the items to start listing for future strategic goals.
Use this early time to get a hold of what you need to do and what resources you have to do it with. Then you can figure out where the gaps are.
Remember what I said at the top about vision and mission? Make sure those are always "in front of you". They are the test to see whether your ideals and plans fit in with God's plan for your church family. A great idea might not flow with the vision and mission of your church. If it does not, consider setting it aside for God's perfect timing.
I know these are all generalities. Feel free to bring more specific questions if you like!
In addition to the great preceding remarks
Establish expectations - with the pastor and whoever else holds power -- make sure they understand that good work takes time, especially as new procedures and design standards are initiated. Don't try to do to much at once!
If you can, gently, with Christian love in your heart, remind your 'clients' that a failure to plan on their part shouldn't create an emergency on your part!
Chart out deadlines for all of your different work products - publishing dates, etc and then set internal deadlines so you can meet those deadlines:
Consider posting a calendar in the church office showing the projects you're working on and the deadline for them.
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Product scheduling example - will you be doing posters for upcoming classes?
When do class session(s) start?
Who long before will posters go up?
Internal deadline: copy for poster AND design ideas/suggestions [e.g.] 2 weeks before display date
Will announcements for classes be included in service bulletin? What dates for inserting them?
Internal deadline for copy (The copy will likely be different than for the posters).
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Re the web site: A suggestion: I'm not familiar with the ISP hosts recommended above, but many have very easy data/information editing features using drag and drop and rudimentary text editing.
Consider using such a host to design the site but delegate at "everyday" updating to the various ministry areas, and provide them with very explicit instructions for the updating, using lots of screen shots and step by step instructions
Then, with each ministry area - have a hands on training session and repeat as needed until the people are comfortable.
If you get this implemented: Note that some will slack off and try to get you to do it. (Been there, done that.) Feel free to help 'em out, but consider a followup note: "I was happy help you out and post that youth mission trip updated schedule on the website for you. I'll be available on these dates [yadah yadah] to refresh your training so that you can do the updates yourself in the future per church procedures." [And consider a bc to the pastor or whoever....]
Of course, some folks will just never get in the groove or be able to get comfortable with updating. Be generous! You're on the same team! (My kids ministry leader (1) had a lot on her plate and (2) was pretty nervous about computers. I didn't try to hold her to the "post-it-yourself rule" and simply worked out a good process for her to get the updating info to me as needed.)
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If & when you run into scheduling conflicts and conflicting demands - especially at first - take 'em to your boss. It's important that your boss see your work flow and see the conflicts and your boss is in a better position to decide who comes first.
Consider filling out and turning in time sheets - a lot of people simply don't have much of an idea of what all you're doing and how much time it takes. This is an important form of communication!
And consider poking around this forum as working time - there is great information here!
Lots of great looking website templates are available for free (a quick google), which enable you to get up and running with a website, with little technical knowledge. You can effectively drag and drop your content into these templates. This way you can have a professional looking design and revamp for the website.
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