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 each month

Regular Contributors:

  • Carolyn Conover, Director of Communication
  • Josh Kinney, Editorial Manager
  • Rev. Jessica Stenstrom, Clergy Representative
  • Rev. Melissa Hinnen, writer

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 5,500 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.

Deadline: Weekly by noon on each Tuesday

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. Local and regional announcements and articles should be directed to District offices.

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: Weekly by noon on each Tuesday

Process: Content is determined each week by conference communication staff 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 District offices.

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 follows to share posts to drive readership and awareness of the United Methodist Church in Greater New Jersey.

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 1 x per month or as urgent need arises.

Purpose:

  • primarily a voice from the Bishop on important matters facing the denomination or events in the conference.
  • secondary 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.

Process: Content solely determined by the Bishop.

Email of Enewsletter to Special Segments

Audience: Any selected segment that is controlled by the sending body. For example, district email to district clergy; 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: MailChimp is the conference vendor for such email. Other services such as Constant Contact and/or Sendgrid can be used. Emails can be sent independently. The communications department can set up a template and provide editorial review for brand and message consistency. Email lists to be maintained by the sending body.

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.

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

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 four 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

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

Frequency: Variable

Purpose:

  • cheaper and faster 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 one 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 Director of Communications at least one 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 the UMC 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 four weeks to create and produce.

Process: All UMC bodies will be asked to 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. The communications department will provide editorial review, design, branding and production. Content should be submitted to Brittney Reilly.

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. Working through the Commission on Communication, we are developing plans to pilot some creative development projects for local churches. These opportunities will be announced as appropriate in the Digest and in The Relay.