Communication Procedural 

The communication team at GNJ has a goal to provide excellent, clear, coordinated messages to serve our mission to equip spiritual leaders to grow vital congregations. We can help you with a wide variety of needs. Don’t see what you are looking for or don’t know where to start? Contact Carolyn Conover, Communications Director, who can review the scope of your needs.

The Relay

Audience: Approximately 7,000 subscribers including all local church clergy and lay leaders in the conference.

Frequency: 12 times per year, monthly.

Purpose:

  • communicate key messages and implementation of strategic plan goals and objectives through evidence of vitality including:
    • bright spots in local churches,
    • small group formation,
    • missional giving,
    • diversity in worship and outreach,
    • youth and young adult discipleship,
    • creative worship,
    • mission and outreach.
  • promote the mission of the annual conference, the area, and the denomination.
  • provide information on events and resources at local, district, conference, area and denominational levels.
  • provide a vehicle for the voice of the resident bishop
  • highlight conference wide initiatives and agencies including CUMAC, the Neighborhood Center, and A Future With Hope.

Deadline: 15th of the month

Process: Content is determined each month in an editorial meeting with contributing staff and is based on the upcoming calendar and current events of the conference and staff. Submissions from church leaders are encouraged but are subject to review, edit and publication based on the story’s alignment with The Relay’s stated purpose and space availability. Submissions with high resolution photographs are given a higher priority. Story ideas should be submitted to Josh Kinney, Editorial Manager.

The GNJ Digest

Audience: Approximately 3,500 subscribers including all clergy and people who subscribed by sign up regardless of their role in or relationship to the church.

Frequency: Weekly on Wednesdays.

Purpose:

  • promote time sensitive events and resources at the conference level.
  • preview weekly denomination news relevant to Greater New Jersey and the strategic plan.
  • highlight conference-wide initiatives and agencies including CUMAC, the Neighborhood Center, the Mission Fund and A Future With Hope.
  • provide a vehicle for job postings and committee meeting announcements.
  • include a list of weekly prayer concerns

Deadline: Weekly on Tuesdays

Process: Content is determined each week by conference communication staff and is based on the upcoming calendar and current events of the conference. The resident Bishop and conference staff refers articles and announcements for inclusion. Announcement submissions are welcome but inclusion will be limited to the conference-wide appeal of the submission. Announcement submissions should be directed to Josh Kinney, Editorial Manager.

District Newsletters

Audience: Subscribers in each of our Conference’s nine districts

Frequency: Weekly and monthly.

Purpose:

  • promote time sensitive events and resources at the district level.
  • preview weekly denomination news relevant to a particular district and the strategic plan.
  • highlight district-wide initiatives and agencies.
  • provide a vehicle for job postings and committee meeting announcements within the district.

Deadline: Generally by noon on each Tuesday but frequency varies by district.

Process: Content is determined each week by conference communication staff and district superintendents and is based on the upcoming calendar and current events of each district. Announcement submissions are welcome but inclusion will be limited to district-wide appeal of the submission. Local and regional announcements and articles should be directed to David Beverly, Technical Assistant for inclusion in district and regional newsletters.

Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Purpose:

  • promote events and resources at local, district, conference, area and denominational levels.
  • promote the mission of the annual conference, the area, and the denomination.
  • communicate key messages and implementation of strategic plan goals and objectives through evidence of vitality including:
    • bright spots in local churches,
    • small group formation,
    • missional giving,
    • diversity in worship and outreach,
    • youth and young adult discipleship,
    • creative worship,
    • mission and outreach.
  • inspire followers to grow in their faith.
  • create a dialogue and discussion for important issues facing the church.
  • encourage followers to share posts to drive readership and awareness of GNJ.

Deadline: None

Manager: Brittney Reilly, Online and Digital Communication Manager

Process: Content decision is determined by conference communication staff and is based on the upcoming calendar and current events of the conference and denomination. The resident Bishop and conference staff refers articles and announcements to share. Announcement submissions are welcome but inclusion will be determined after review by the staff and dependent on alignment with the purpose stated above. Local and regional announcements and articles should be directed to District offices.

Conference-Wide Email (i.e. Bishop’s Messages)

Audience: Options include all clergy, all current clergy and lay leaders, or all active and inactive clergy and lay leaders up to a total of approximately 20,000 records.

Frequency: Approximately 2-3 x per month or as urgent need arises.  

Purpose:

  • a voice from the Bishop on important matters facing the denomination or events in the conference.
  • an administrative tool to provide conference wide updates on important business including shared ministry, goal setting, charge conference forms, etc.  
  • a way to provide comfort and context to urgent current events that call for prayer or action on the part of United Methodists.
  • used sparingly so that the messages heighten in importance.

Deadline: dependent on the current events and/or communication needs of the Bishop and administration.

Process: Content determined by the Bishop and executive staff team.

Email to Special Segments

Audience: Any selected clergy or lay segments of 20 or more determined by the sending body. For example: reminder from superintendent to clergy for regional event, invitation or encouragement to attend a training or information about resourcing from connectional ministries team or surveys or evaluations to event attendees.   Any email of this type given to the regional teams should be forwarded to communications for processing. Superintendents are welcome to send out internal emails in groups to district groups about district events and activities that do not have conference impact.

Frequency: Variable

Purpose:

  • communicate regular updates or meeting notices to targeted lists.

Deadline: Usually within 1 business day. If request is off business hours, please text Carolyn Conover 310-850-1940 for immediate response.  

Process: Text for group emails go through the communications team for set up, tracking, branding and processing. Lists of segments can be pulled from Arena (for those with access) or requested through communications. Communications team creates branded templates, reviews content for consistency and branding and tracks results. All requests should be sent to Carolyn Conover.      

Email of Enewsletter to Special Segments

Audience: Any selected segment that is controlled by the sending body. For example: district email to district clergy; vital mission partner or hope center to special audience; committee or agency email to committee members; email to special segments.

Frequency: Variable

Purpose:

  • communicate regular updates or meeting notices to targeted lists.

Deadline: dependent on the current events and/or communication needs of the group

Process: Text for group emails go through the communications team for processing, set up, tracking, branding and processing. Lists of segments can be pulled from Arena (for those with access), requested through communications or tracked and maintained by the sending body. Communications team creates branded templates, reviews content for consistency and branding and tracks results. All requests should be sent to Carolyn Conover.      

Videos

Audience: Any approved segment of UMC or non UMC entity.

Frequency: Variable

Purpose:

  • visual means to communicate a message that has visual or emotional impact.
  • supporting element to promotion campaigns for events.  

Deadline: videos take a minimum of 4 weeks to produce and must be scheduled and planned 8-12 weeks in advance of deadline.

Manager: James Lee, Visual Arts Manager

Process: Any UMC body wanting a video should schedule an overview meeting with the Director of Communications to thoroughly review the plan and content ideally three months in advance. When planning a video, please consider, target audience, script and content, visual impact, length. In general, all videos should be less than four minutes and be produced to appeal to the widest audience to take to maximize the exposure. Because of limited video capacity, no video production is guaranteed until it has been scheduled with the communications department.

Brochures

Audience: Any selected segment that is controlled by the sending body. For example, Scholarship brochures, strategic plan brochures, volunteer brochures

Frequency: Variable; usually annual

Purpose:

  • provide overview of program
  • targeted for people to take home or information that needs to be considered

Deadline: Approximately 4 weeks to create and produce.

Process: Any UMC body wanting a brochure should schedule an overview meeting with the Director of Communications to thoroughly review the plan and content six weeks in advance. The person requesting the brochure will be responsible for all content. The communications department will provide editorial review, design, branding and production.

Flyers, Bulletin, Inserts and Postcards

Audience: Any selected segment that is controlled by the sending body. For example, meeting notices, handouts, bulletins

Frequency: Variable

Purpose:

  • cheap and fast way to communicate to a group meeting in a visual way.
  • targeted for people to take home or information that needs to be considered

Deadline: Approximately 1 week to create and produce.

Process: Any UMC body wanting a flyer or handout should send content and description or samples of previous flyers to the Carolyn Conover, at least 1 week before deadline. The person requesting the flyer will be responsible for all content. The communications department will provide editorial review, design, branding and production.

Web Page Development

Audience: All agencies, departments, committees and recognized bodies of GNJ should have a designated web page appropriate for both internal and external UMC audiences.

Frequency: Ongoing; should be updated with dynamic content every 4 to 8 weeks

Purpose:

  • allows web site to become a fully integrated, dynamic, and accurate resource and overview for United Methodists within GNJ, outside of GNJ and the non and nominally religious who view our site for information.
  • provides up to date contact and activity information for all agencies, departments, committees and bodies of the UMC.
  • demonstrates the key components of the strategic plan.
  • Is user friendly, organized for ease of use.

Deadline: Approximately two weeks to create and produce. Allow one week for updates to current page.

Manager: Brittney Reilly, Online and Digital Communication Manager

Process: All UMC bodies provide up to date web page content. The communications department will provide editorial review, design, branding and production. Each webpage should have a person designated within the department or agency for content updates.

Event Promotion and Marketing Plan

Audience: Any group of people targeted for an event or promotion from a GNJ body. For example: IGNITE, convocation, charge conferences

Frequency: Dependent on

Purpose:

  • coordinate all marketing efforts
  • ensure all materials are branded and positioned to align with GNJ’s mission 
  • create targeted cross platform promotion
  • maximize attendance from desired audience.  

Deadline: Preferably six months and at least three months in advance of event.

Process: The communications team will create and implement a marketing plan for event promotion at the direction of the sponsoring entity. Events usually require a two to three month window (sometimes more) prior to the event. Major events should be discussed with the Director of Communication six

months in advance so planning, design and strategy can be put into place. The communication team will outline a marketing plan for approval and implement each phase of the plan including tracking and event evaluation. Contact Carolyn Conover to get started.

Translations

Documents: The communications team has resources to translate documents into Spanish, Korean and Portuguese. Translation services are outsourced and are priced per word. Depending on the length of the document, the translation can take two to four weeks to complete.

Equipment: The communications team has 50 translation devices for use in events and worship services. The equipment can be rented for a deposit of $100. The $100 deposit will be returned to the renter once the equipment is returned to the Mission and Resource Center. Contact David Beverly, Technical Assistant at for more information.    

Agency and Committee Use of the Communications Staff Resources

All chairs of committees, commissions, boards and agencies, should contact their staff resource person to engage the communications department staff or resources. The goal is to have all materials branded and professionally designed; however, all requests for assistance must be channeled through appropriate staff resource persons.

Local Congregation and Pastor Use of the Communications Staff Resources

The communications team is always available to clergy and lay people from our churches for guidance and support. However, the department is not equipped to service our local congregations with materials, design or production.

Download Procedural Here

  • Communications Procedural

    Communications Procedural

    An overview of how to use communications resources available though GNJ for our staff, vital mission partners and churches. Updated January 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Communication Procedural