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Creating a Compelling Parish Profile. For the rector search process. This session What is a Parish Profile? Getting started Your content strategy Putting it all together. This session What is a Parish Profile? Getting started Your content strategy Putting it all together.

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creating a compelling parish profile

Creating a Compelling Parish Profile

For the rector search process

slide2
This session
    • What is a Parish Profile?
    • Getting started
    • Your content strategy
    • Putting it all together

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide3
This session
    • What is a Parish Profile?
    • Getting started
    • Your content strategy
    • Putting it all together

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide4
What is a Parish Profile?
    • A reflection of your parish personality
    • A sales pitch for your parish
    • An executive search tool

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide5
What is a Parish Profile?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide6
What is a Parish Profile?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide7
What is a Parish Profile?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide8
What is a Parish Profile?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide9
What is a Parish Profile?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide10
What is a Parish Profile?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide11
What is a Parish Profile?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide12
This session
    • What is a Parish Profile?
    • Getting started
    • Your content strategy
    • Putting it all together

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide13
Getting started
    • Confirm expectations
    • Assemble the team

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

getting started
Getting started
  • Confirming expectations
    • What is the time frame?
    • Is there a budget?
    • What is your final product?
      • Electronic document
      • Printed piece

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

getting started1
Getting started
  • Assembling your team
    • Sponsor (search committee chair)
    • Administrator (project manager)
    • Editor
    • Copy editors / proofreaders
    • Photographer
    • Production people (design, layout)
    • Experts*

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

getting started2
Getting started
  • Assembling your team
    • Experts
      • Parishioners
      • Catechists
      • Ministry leaders
      • Commission chairs
      • Staff
      • Vestry
      • Clergy

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide17
This session
    • What is a Parish Profile?
    • Getting started
    • Your content strategy
    • Putting it all together

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy
Content strategy
  • High-level plan
    • Develop a basic outline*
    • Gather information
    • Lay it all out on the table (literally!)
    • Agree how you’ll weave the parish narrative
    • Work toward a “design plan”

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy1
Content strategy
  • Develop a basic content outline

This is available online.

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy2
Content strategy
  • Gather fresh information
    • Cottage meetings
    • Parish surveys
    • Vestry input
    • Questionnaire for ministry leaders

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy3
Content strategy
  • Gather fresh information
    • Ask for specifics
      • Vision
      • Accomplishments
      • Aspirations

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy4
Content strategy
  • Gather historical information
    • Annual reports
    • Parochial reports

Parochial Reports are a great source of historical trend information about your parish

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy5
Content strategy
  • Weave the parish narrative
    • A profile should answer basic questions
      • Who are we today?
      • What do we value?
      • How do we worship together?
      • What is a typical Sunday?
      • Where do we want to go as a parish?
      • What kind of a leader will get us there?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy6
Content strategy
  • Weave the parish narrative
    • What is our pitch?
    • How do we tell our story?
    • How will we draw readers in?

That content outline is just a starting point. Your story might be different.

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy7
Content strategy
  • Key content
    • Identify any clergy (with photos)
    • Describe church staff and property
    • Include photos of church, rectory
    • Include information about diocese from the parish’s perspective

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy8
Content strategy
  • Key content
    • Use charts and graphs for financial and congregational statistics

This would be good task for one of your experts!

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy9
Content strategy
  • Key content
    • A brief history of the parish
    • A few paragraphs on every active ministry or commission
    • More detail on vital areas like Christian formation, and parish life

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy10
Content strategy
  • Include some local flavor
    • Describe the community
    • Nearby schools and universities
    • Area attractions

Maybe a map of the region…

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

content strategy11
Content strategy
  • Remember to . . . Play up the positives
    • Present challenges in a positive way
    • Include a letter to the future rector
    • Use one editorial voice
    • Be truthful
    • Finish strong!

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide30
This session
    • What is a Parish Profile?
    • Getting started
    • Your content strategy
    • Putting it all together

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together
Putting it all together
  • Work towards a design plan
    • Think about your visual identity
    • Let pictures help tell your story
    • Layout/design tips

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together1
Putting it all together
  • Your visual identity
    • You have one: it’s already in your leaflets, your sign, your website
    • It’s influenced through
      • Colors
      • Fonts
      • Logos

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together2
Putting it all together
  • Your visual identity

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together3
Putting it all together
  • Your visual identity
    • If cost is a concern . . .

and it’s the first place many newcomers will see you.

A website can be an inexpensive and flexible place to initiate a visual identity program

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together4
Putting it all together
  • Your visual identity decision
    • Blend with your existing visual identity
    • Create a new look that’s consistent with “where you want to go”

It’s a good idea to discuss option #2 with your team sponsor or search committee!

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together5
Putting it all together
  • Pictures help tell your story
    • Digital cameras and digital delivery make this much more affordable!
    • Photograph all your parish events
    • Include pictures of the church and rectory

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together6
Putting it all together
  • Pictures help tell your story
    • Use a mix of close-up, detail, group, and mid-range photos in a page layout or in a series of pages
    • Print group photos big enough so that you can see faces
    • Run any out-of-focus photos a little smaller

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together7
Putting it all together
  • Pictures help tell your story

Photos of people engage readers more than the bricks and mortar.

(Sorry buildings…)

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together8
Putting it all together
  • Layout/design tips
    • Group photos together (they like company)
    • Use lots of ‘em!
    • Bigger is better
    • Anchor pictures to corresponding text
    • Use photo collage to humanize parish

Check out Picasa for organizing your photos.

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together9
Putting it all together
  • Layout/design tips

Consistency in style puts the emphasis on the message, not the design.

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together10
Putting it all together
  • Running the project
    • I got the job. Now what?!
    • Writing
    • Content approval
    • Technology/presentation
    • Final review
    • Implementing it

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together11
Putting it all together
  • Administering
    • Have a kickoff meeting
    • Agree on
      • Roles
      • Responsibilities
      • Expectations
    • Agree on reasonable timelines
    • Consider dependencies

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together12
Putting it all together
  • Administering
    • Distribute a schedule to everyone and update as necessary

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together13
Putting it all together
  • Administering
    • Schedule regular, brief meetings
    • Send routine communication to the team and the sponsor
      • Progress / accomplishments
      • Upcoming dates
      • Gentle reminders

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together14
Putting it all together
  • Writing
    • Work to your content outline
    • Use strategies to gather accurate, concise information the first time

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together15
Putting it all together

Writing

Use placeholders for missing images and move on

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together16
Putting it all together
  • Writing
    • Too much information? Boil it down
    • One individual stitching it together gives the profile one “editorial voice”

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together17
Putting it all together

Writing

Ask experts to review their sections

Get a copy to your photographer/photo editor so they can begin gathering up the images

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together18
Putting it all together

Writing

Circulate draft copies to your proofreaders

It may be old fashioned, but proofing on paper has benefits. If you proof electronically, use “Track Changes”.

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together19
Putting it all together

Writing

Incorporate final changes from team

Ready?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together20
Putting it all together
  • Content approval: Round 1
    • These will be fresh eye—expect suggestions
    • Encourage any sweeping changes NOW

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together21
Putting it all together

Content approval: Round 1

Resist the temptation to fine-tune the size and placement of images until after all content approvals.

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together22
Putting it all together

Content approval: Round 1

Share the doc with search committee, wardens

Ask them to look critically

Does this look like us?

Are there gaps?

Are we being honest?

Are we missing any ministries

Are we representing our demographics?

Does it answer the key questions?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together23
Putting it all together
  • Round 1 feedback
    • Make any final changes
    • Circle back with experts if necessary

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together24
Putting it all together

Content approval: Round 2

Send to vestry and bishop for their pre-approval

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together25
Putting it all together
  • Technology/presentation
    • We used Microsoft Word
    • Style sheets are a lifesaver
      • Consistency of formatting
      • Reformat the whole document in minutes
      • Automatic “Table of Contents”

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together26
Putting it all together

Style sheets

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together27
Putting it all together

Table of contents

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together28
Putting it all together
  • Image anchors

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together29
Putting it all together
  • Images

Shrink images down before placing them (this might be 200 x 150 px).

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together30
Putting it all together

Final layout

Text is approved, so you can start fine-tuning the layout

Image size is a great “flex point” to control where the pages break

Getting it to work just right can be challenging

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together31
Putting it all together

Final layout

Text is approved, so you can start fine-tuning the layout

Oh, yeah. Start from the front and work your way back!

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together32
Putting it all together
  • Final review
    • Print out hard copy for final review; it’s easier to see errors
    • Avoid text editing or content analysis at this phase!!!
    • Changes can accidentally insert other errors

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together33
Putting it all together
  • Output / Delivery
    • Use Adobe Acrobat PDF format
      • Locks everything in
      • No squiggly lines under unknown words

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together34
Putting it all together
  • Output / delivery
    • Use Adobe Acrobat PDF format
      • Portable; frees reader
      • Can be printed or read in its entirety
      • Websites are not ideal for documents intended to be read top to bottom

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together35
Putting it all together

Output / delivery

Use Adobe Acrobat PDF format

Smaller file size

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

putting it all together36
Putting it all together
  • Output / delivery
    • Send to diocese, post to the CDO database, etc.
    • Post to parish website
    • Make it easy to find (prominent link on home page)
    • Promote to the parish

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide68
This session
    • What is a Parish Profile?
    • Getting started
    • Your content strategy
    • Putting it all together
    • Bask in the satisfaction of a job well-done!

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

slide69
Questions?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

questions
Questions?
  • How should we talk about our “challenges”?
  • Where can we get advice about websites?
  • Should we have the profile printed?
  • What resources are there?

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

the team
The Team

http://www.stmaryspr.org/

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