Recently I was reading ” Leadership communication tools” by Nancy Caramanico. I liked how she highlighted various tools for school educators. Allow me to mirror her article and focus on Parish Catechetical Leader (PCL’s) Communication Tools.
I totally agree with Nancy when she says, “Communicating in today’s world requires both a new mindset and a new toolset. Like a maestro conducting a symphony, savvy leaders pay attention to the sound, the effect, and the instruments needed to strike just the right notes. “
I would go further to advocate that as you move into this digital communications world, you will need to learn new skills, a new language and digital culture to be an effective church communicator.
As I look back at my beginnings, which go back to 1983, I realize that I have slowly learned new terminology, new skills, and have gradually immersed myself in a digital culture. I encourage any pastoral and catechetical leader today to take the needed steps so that you speak the language, engage in the culture, and learn the skills that you need to communicate effectively with your audiences.
So what do you need to be able to engage in today to communicate with others?
10 Tools for Pastoral Communication (Paraphrasing Nancy’s 10 Tools):
- Microblogging – Create an account on Twitter. Follow other catechetical and pastoral leaders. Check out Brad West’s article Go Tweet It On The Mountain Top .Tweet out information about your parish. Explore use of twitter for conferences or meetings for sharing ideas.
- Blogging – Write frequent news updates for your parish blog. Follow other Catholics – see the Catholic Blog Directory. Who are the catechetical bloggers? Encourage and read comments. Use Google Blogger, Edublogs or create your own.
- Podcasting – Create audio messages for playback on web and devices. Use tools such as Audioboo, Audacity
- Electronic Surveys – Use Zoomerang or Survey Monkey for advanced functionality. Make quality surveys with Google Forms which is free
- Email – Yes email. It is still a common tools used by many. Regular timely updates seek responses and give responses in a timely fashion. HTML newsletters can be pre-formatted with a consistent design to add appealing design.
- Learning Management System – This may be the tool that will be a staple to our doing online learning with our students and adults in the near future. Take time to learn more about Learning Management Systems.
- Parish or Faith Formation Website – Consistently post updates that are both engaging and informational. Ask yourself – what content are we sharing with our members online?
- Facebook – Use Facebook to update parish community on latest faith formation news, photos and videos
- Video – Use Youtube or other video sharing sites. Broadcast videos about parish events
- Google alerts – Set up Google Alerts to stay on top of mentions of your parish and other topics of interests to the parish or faith formation community.
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