The New Model of Relevancy

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Websites are no longer a transaction that should take place every few years; they are ongoing.

 

As an agency that has worked in the industry for the better part of five years, we’ve seen the need for ongoing design, and now, in this age of relevancy, the traditional – cyclical – model of websites no longer makes sense for Ministries. The traditional model concludes that websites have a lifetime (1-3 years, depending on who you talk with) that determines its relevancy. Thus, between updates, redesigns and complete overhauls, the relevancy of your website is constantly dwindling, being recharged and dwindling again. However, the traditional age of websites is changing and the new model of relevancy is approaching.

The new model of relevancy is approaching and you must understand this: your website is alive, dynamic and in need of continuous care.

It’s no longer okay to make your website a transactional product; it must become a part of your ministries; daily, monthly and annually. As we enter this new age of relevancy, agencies must also introduce a new model of their solutions. There needs to be an emphasis on relationships and ongoing designs; a solution that embraces the changing industry, the rising needs of ministries and the essence of the new model of relevancy. It also needs to make sense financially.

In the age of technology, we can't stress relevancy enough. How your ministries approach this issue is crucial. Connect with one of our team today, we'd love to share how we can help keep your online ministries relevant. Click here.   

 

The Custom Church: Uniqueness is not arbitrary.

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"If you are reading this, you are custom; a fact you should not take for granted."

Although change is prominent, especially in the communications industry and the Church, I can’t help but think about the fact that each ministry is custom. How cool is that! Whether it’s the missions, focuses, individuals, passions and/or approaches, just to name a few, your ministries are custom and unique to you.

The reason I am thinking about this today is because I love my job! As an agency, we have the opportunity to come alongside ministries, empowering them within their uniqueness’s to further advance the kingdom of Jesus. But it’s more than just providing a tool (website). It’s the partnerships, friendships and the fact that Jesus is at the center.

As we progress as a company, the one truth we will always project is this: Jesus is the core of who we are and each ministry that comes through our doors is unique, custom, and deserves to be represented as such. The designs implemented within your ministries – websites, brochures, mailers, etc. – should be unique to you. We believe they should represent and reflect your audiences, your visions, your emotions and your missions.

Remember, your Church is custom; how cool is that!!!

Optimization: Why it starts with Personalization

Optimization. You may have heard this term tossed around quite a bit recently, especially within the tech and web world. It may seem that everyone is on the optimization bandwagon, and in reality, they should be; you should be.

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Website Optimization is a phrase that describes the techniques used to enhance a website’s ranking within search engines by taking advantage of the connections and resources available. 

A post from Pamela Vaughan touches on a few metrics you could and should use to effectively optimize your website performance. She highlights Unique Visitors, New vs. Repeat Visitors, Traffic Sources, Referring URL's, Most/Least Popular Pages, Indexed Pages, Landing Page Conversion Rates and Bounce Rates, which are all important. 

Now, as an agency that specializes in website design, we understand the significance of optimization and how it will bring value to your ministries. However, optimization starts with personalization, not a bunch of tech mumbo jumbo. Before your ministries begin to diagnose website optimization, it is important you understand how and why your ministries communications efforts must be personal.

  • You are unique: What makes your different; special? Remember, your ministries are unique - one of a kind. Your communications should reflect that. In essence, define your ministries personality and own it. 
  • You can relate: What makes your target audience want to connect specifically with you? Well, you can relate. Many individuals will come to your ministries looking for help; understanding. Posture your communications with that in mind. 
  • You have an Answer: Your mission is one of a kind; be relevant within it. One of the best things about marketing and communicating for the Church is that we have the answer; Jesus. Your ministries have the solutions that your audiences are looking for, provide them. 

Does your Church need a mission/vision statement?

Mission and Vision statements allow for the framework of your unique ministries to be organized and completely conceptualized; in all areas of your Kingdom work. By defining the mission and vision of your Church, you create a foundation unto which every communications objective can be derived. So in short, yes, you do need them.  

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But what are they? What's the difference? 

Mission and vision statements are carefully chosen words which create a concise message that conveys the direction of a ministry. By creating a clear mission or vision statement, a ministry can powerfully communicate its intentions and motivate itself towards a common vision for the future. Both of these statements effectively acknowledge and incorporate the specific audiences of the Church. This means you know who they are, what they value, and how your message or mission relates. 


Vision Statements define the ministries purpose but they do so in terms of the ministries values. The values of the Church become the guiding beliefs of how things in the organization should be done. 

Mission Statements define the ministries purpose and primary objectives. Its main objective is to define the key measure or measures of the ministries success. 

  • Identify the main idea of the ministry. This is what will make the Church stand out. Customers are more willing to support an ministry  that has a strong and clear idea.

  • Identify the key measures of the ministries success. Make sure to choose the most important measures and not too many of them.

  • Combine the main idea with the measures of success into a tangible and measurable goal.

  • Refine the words until you have a concise and precise statement of the mission, which expresses the ideas, measures, and desired results.

  • Identify the ministries mission and then uncover the real, human value in the mission.

  • Identify what the customers and other stakeholders will value most about how the ministry will achieve the mission. Instill these into the values that the ministry has or should have.

  • Combine the mission and values and polish the words until a vision statement is inspiring enough to energize and motivate people inside and outside the organization.


One final point: It's not important that you have both a mission and vision statement written out and framed in the Church office. However, it is important that you have developed and understand the meanings behind your vision and mission. Remember, at the end of the day, our actions speak our values, not our communications statements. 

The Chasm between Innovation and Authenticity

It’s virtually impossible to get away from today’s technology and its innovativeness. Whether it’s social media, smartphones, staying connected or about a million other communications options, our world has transitioned into one of technology brilliance.

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What does this “Technology Brilliance” mean to the Church?

Well, it all funnels into one thing, opportunity! Unlike any generation before us, we have the resources to connect, disciple and minister to/with the world. The opportunities to accomplish the missions of the Church have reached new heights!

However, this blog isn’t about new communications opportunities; it’s about the chasm between innovation and authenticity. It's about the simple fact that often we are quick to act on something because we can, not because we should. It's important as ministries to understand the value of the communications innovations; it's also important to understand whether or not your ministries should/shouldn't utilize them. In a world that’s rapidly advancing technologically, it’s important that within these advancements our authenticity remains consistent and relevant.

Don't sacrifice your mission due to a "cool" communications tool.

As individuals who consider ourselves "tech geeks," we understand the desire and interest in new technology. However, we've also seen how too much technology can disrupt the authenticity of a mission. Don't let innovation over value or over take your missions; there's no need to create a chasm between innovation and authenticity. Here are some things to think about when it comes to innovative technology: 

  1. How/will this help our mission?
  2. Is this innovation tested enough to be trusted or proven valuable?
  3. Who are the professionals/individuals I could ask about this innovation?

If you have a question about communications authenticity, we would love to answer it!