And Now For Something New

And Now For Something New

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” 
― Peter Drucker

In June, we published a news article explaining that the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island weekly conference email newsletters would take a hiatus over the summer while a plan was developed for communications in the new conference.

Well, here we are at the end of August, and there is indeed a plan for something new. I thought I'd share it, and I invite your feedback.

To start, a new weekly email launches this week called "5 Things to Share."  This e-newsletter will feature the top things - news articles, blog posts, justice actions, events, and social media shareables - that we think folks in your congregations will want to know about. We're calling it 5 Things to Share to emphasize how important it is for those of you who receive our communications to share them with those folks in your communities who would benefit from receiving them.

This new newsletter will replace the weekly e-newsletters that had long, repetitive lists of news, blogs, events and more that have traditionally gone out in our three conferences. Why? Because feedback I've received, and research that I've done, show those types of newsletters to be ineffective. So, we're trying something new.

What about ALL that information we have traditionally sent out?  How will you know what's happening?  Well - of course all that information has always been, and will continue to be, on our websites. In addition to that we'll be distributing information in a number of different ways:
  • We will be sending more stand-alone emails regarding events to targeted audiences. That means sending faith formation events to Christian educators, boundary awareness training information to clergy, etc. This will be a balancing act - getting the right information to the right people without overdoing it - and I welcome your feedback through the fall as to whether or not we are achieving this balance.
  • We will be publishing more frequent subject-specific e-newsletters. Over the next few months, we will increase our justice and witness newsletter from once to twice a month; we will broaden the reach of our Spotlight newsletter highlighting local church innovation and we will increase its publication from once to twice a month; and we will institute a regular Clergy Update. 
  • We will make available a weekly digest email. If you want to be sure you don't miss anything, this will be an opportunity to receive a list with all of the events, news stories, blog posts, resources and social media posts that we've put out that week.
How do you make sure that you - and the leaders in your setting - are receiving the correct emails?  There are two things to do:
  • Visit our subscription page and enter your email address. You'll receive a link showing you to what newsletters you are currently subscribed, and giving you options to make changes.
  • Have whoever has access to your church's email account visit the Church Dashboard and update the contact information for leaders in your church. This is crucial for us to get information into the hands of those who need it most. 
When you enter Connecticut Conference Minister Kent Siladi's office, the first thing you see is a sign that says "Make New Mistakes Every Day."  I can't guarantee that these changes to our communication practices will go off without a hitch. But I can guarantee we'll all learn from the experiment. Let me know what you think!


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Tiffany Vail

Tiffany Vail is the Director of Media & Communications for the Southern New England Conference.

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