FALL 2014 UU Social Media and Membership Growth trainings

Friends, this Fall I’m leading two separate  day-long trainings on UU social media and membership growth.   I hope you’ll join us!

Peter BowdenHere’s the deal.  Today we need to be intentionally integrating our social media, visitor greeting and other membership development efforts.  If we don’t,  we’re in trouble.

Thanks to technology the path to membership is moving increasingly online.   How many people visit your website before visiting?  Around 100%.  And now people are wanting to explore your social media and check you out digitally for a while to judge you before they visit. That’s right, they’re judging you based on what you’re online presence and identity.

Potential members are  increasingly making a decision about your congregation based on their digital experience, and then and only then, if that’s good, they’ll visit in person to confirm you are what you’ve said you are online.  Increasingly you need to be helping people pre-qualify themselves for membership online if you want them to visit and join in person.  And your existing members?  They are bombarded with information via multiple communication channels.  How do you get them to hear you and to not drift away?  We’ll discuss all of this in more in one very full, exciting and useful day…

Think of  this training as a 2014-2015 upgrade for your communications and membership growth strategy.

Again, here the dates and registration links.  If you have questions, Email me.

What’s that you say?   Are these events being lives streamed?  No,  but I will be turning the content into text and video resources. Make sure you are subscribed to my Leading Congregations E-Newsletter to be updated as they become available.

In cooperation,
Peter

Registration & Event Details


COLORADO

Growing UU Membership Using Social Media and Visitor Integration Strategies

Day-long training with Peter Bowden
Saturday, October 4th, 2014
High Plains Church, UU (HPCUU)
1825 Dominion Way
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Event Registration

RHODE ISLAND
UU Social Media & Membership Growth Intensive
Day-long training with Peter Bowden
First Unitarian Church of Providence, RI
November 8, 2014
Event Registration

Program Outline

The following program is close to final for these two events.  There may be some small changes in timing and titles, but the content is set.

8:30 Registration & Refreshments

9:00    Opening Worship & Welcome

9:15  Technology, Culture and the Challenge to Congregations
How is changing technology changing us?  We’ll look at the new technology norms for how people are connecting, learning and making decisions. Understanding these changes is critical to effective outreach, social media use, and membership development.

9:25 Social Media and the New Path to Membership
The path to becoming a member in a congregation has changed significantly in recent years.  Not in terms of what has to happen for people to connect with a congregation, but how, when and where these connections happen.  Today much of what happens in the course of “church shopping” happens online via congregational social media channels.

10:45 Break

11:00   Increasing Engagement, Understanding Social Media Today
For congregations to maximize engagement with newcomers, members and friends, we need to understand what communication platforms people are using, what they are using them for, and the new norms for institutional communication. We’ll identify the top social media platforms today, look at their use by demographic, and identify key ways congregations need to shift their approach in order to communicate effectively today.

11:30   Break Out Session
What have you tried? What works? What doesn’t? We’ll take some time to learn from each other, share successes and challenges. This will also prime our lunch time conversation.

12:00      Lunch
We’ll take a nice full hour lunch to allow for conversations to continue, connections to be made, and to let our brains cool down as needed!

1:00 Report Back
When we gather after lunch, we will take some time to hear some of our success stories and insights from our lunch conversations.

1:20   Social Media Storytelling, Relationship and Membership Growth
We’ll go deeper into the strategy of communicating with newcomers, members and friends via social media with the goal of building relationships, increasing participation in congregational life, and growing your membership. To be successful at this, we need to master the art and science of telling the many stories of congregational life in ways that are interesting, meaningful, and invite participation.

2:00 Best Practices for Keeping Members Engaged and Coming Back
If we’re successful in brining newcomers into our communities, soon we will have new members. Which raises the question, how do we keep members coming back in today’s world with so many competing demands for people’s attention and time.

2:20   Developing Social Media Plans, a Small Group Exercise
We’ll break into small groups and go through the process of developing a social media plan for one primary event or happening within the life of your congregation using strategies detailed earlier in the day. This may be for a large fundraiser, your monthly newcomer class, or a special holiday event.

2:45   Discussion on Small Group Exercise

3:00     Q & A Time

3:30   Closing

Testimonials

“Peter provided our team with an opportunity to learn together about social media giving us a common understanding of the benefits and costs of utilizing it. His enthusiasm for social media is infectious, making us feel not only that implementing it is possible and perhaps inevitable as our world continues to evolve.” — Sara Deshler, Church Administrator, Cedar Lane U U Church.

“Peter’s passion for social media communications and Unitarian Universalism is contagious. His vision for our future is something we need to learn and embrace.” – Don Southworth, UUMA Executive Director

Peter’s training on Social Media was clear, instructive, and interactive. He is dynamic, engaging and brings an enthusiasm to his sessions that is contagious. I recommend him highly.” — Mark Bernstein, Regional Growth Development Consultant, Central East Region of the UUA

#UUsGetSocial workshop schedule and recording

UPDATE:  You may access resources and recordings here.

I’m excited to announce that the four-part #UUsGetSocial workshop series at the UUA’s General Assembly conference is going to be video taped. It will not be live streamed.

If you’re going to General Assembly, I hope you’ll join us. You may find the full program book online here. If you’re going to be at GA and have a smart phone or tablet, make sure to get the official UUA GA event app.

Workshop Schedule

204 #UUsGetSocial: How Congregations Can Deepen Engagement Online
Thursday 10:15 am EST
RICC Ballroom BC

260 #UUsGetSocial: Updating Your Web Presence: Tools and Tips
Thursday 4:00pm EST
RICC Ballroom BC

306 #UUsGetSocial: Reaching “Nones,” Activists, and Spiritual Seekers
Friday 10:15 am EST
RICC Ballroom BC

408 #UUsGetSocial: Digging Into Facebook, Twitter and Video-Making/Sharing
Saturday 10:15 am EST
RICC Ballroom BC

The Hashtag

If you are on Facebook or Twitter, you can search for the tag #UUAGA to pull up all associated tagged posts and Tweets.  Search for #UUsGetSocial, click these links to give it a try:

#UUsGetSocial on Facebook
#UUsGetSocial on Twitter

Connect at GA!

I’ll be at General Assembly all week, including during ministry days, so make sure to connect.   Besides helping to lead this series, I’m going to be talking with clergy colleagues about a new series of social media learning opportunities specifically for parish ministers on making your public ministry more public.  Yes, if you are a professional minister being paid to do public ministry,  I think it is critical that you have a strong online identity — YOU, not just your congregation.  Oh yes, I’m talking about using clergy personal branding as a catalyst for Unitarian Universalist growth.

Look for our Leading Congregations ad in the program book. It shares contact information for contacting  me and Amy at General Assembly, plus an invitation to subscribe to our newsletter.  I’ll be sharing new social media educational offerings and resources via the newsletter following GA.  Don’t miss out!  Some offerings are going to have limited participation, and I’m going to share invitations with subscribers of our newsletter first.

Hope to see you at GA!
Peter Bowden

Collaborative Mulitmedia Piece for Sunday Morning GA Worship

Photo by Jake JacobsonFriends, we are working on creating a multimedia piece for Sunday morning worship at General Assembly to the reading “Beatitudes for Justice Builders” by the Rev. Lindi Ramsden.

In order to bring this message to life, we are looking for additional photographs of people engaged in many different kinds of activities: social action, worship, meetings, tender moments, service, working, playing…

Do you have photos to contribute?  Please share them with us by this Friday, May 16th. Logistics and copy of the reading are below.

Our vision is to create a visual presentation that is colorful, creative, fun, and moving. In addition to being part of  worship at General Assembly, if all goes well, this piece will be available after GA for congregational use.

In the Spirit of Collaboration,
Amy & Peter

How to Submit Photos

1. To contribute photos:

  • Email: For one or a handful of  photos, please email them to us here.
  • If you use Flickr and have lots of photos to share (more than 5) post them to the UU Stock Photo group and letting us know via email that you’ve shared them there.
  • If you use Dropbox, email Peter and he can share a Dropbox folder with you.

2. Photo size:   Photographs are going to be included in HD video presentation at 1920 x 1080, so please only share photos at that can resolution or larger.

3. Please only submit photos that you have permission to share online or that are already publicly available online such as on congregational Facebook pages.  We do not want to spend time hunting down photo permissions and so prefer images already online.

4.  In sharing photos with us you are granting us permission to use them in the multimedia piece at GA, which will be live streamed, permission to use in an online video, and affirming that you have permission of people in the photo to share it.  Permissions are not needed for photos taken at larger public witness events.  Not sure if you have the okay to share?  Please do not share with us or ask those in the photo first.

5. Please include the names of photographers to include in credits.    We will be sharing names of contributors in a slide at the end of the piece.

The Reading

“Beatitudes for Justice Builders” by the Rev. Lindi Ramsden

1 Blessed are you who can question your own assumptions and listen with an open mind; you will receive new insights beyond your imagining.

2 Blessed are you who build friendships as well as justice; even when you lose an issue, you will have strengthened the foundation of your community.

3 Blessed are you who take delight in people; you will not be bored in meetings.

4 Blessed are you who agitate the placid waters of complacency; you will create waves in the inertia of privilege, and will know the thrill of riding the surf of change.

5 Blessed are you who lead with enthusiasm and confidence, resisting the temptation to shame the apathetic or self-absorbed; you will inspire curiosity and hope in others.

6 Blessed are you who play as well as work; you will have more fun, build more energy, and will draw the powers of the impish to your cause.

7 Blessed are you who ask for help in your role as leaders; you will find teachers at every turn, and your work will remain interesting and alive.

8 Blessed are you who do not demonize your opponents; your eyes and your hearts will be open.

9 Blessed are you who sing and dance; you will find energy and joy to lift you on your journey.

10 Blessed are you who offer thanks and praise five-fold for every critique; your children will want to visit after they are grown, people will want to serve on your committees, and friends will be interested in your opinions.

11 Blessed are you who study the rhythms of history; you will have knowledge with which to shape the future.

12 Blessed are you who work in coalition rather than in principled isolation; you will meet great people, learn things you didn’t realize you needed to know, and have partners for the journey when you are in the lead, or in need.

13 Blessed are you who discover, train and encourage young leaders; you will see your work expand and grow beyond your own time and talent.

14 Blessed are you who can change your mind; you are still alive.

15 Blessed are you who will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good; you will see progress in your lifetime.

16 Blessed are you with an active spiritual life; you will find perspective and comfort in times of loss and betrayal, and will rise without cynicism to meet the challenges of a new day.

17 Blessed are you who live from a place of gratitude; for you will know the meaning of Life.

 

Occupy Your Faith – A Boston Unitarian Universalist Revival

Event announcement via Matt Meyer. “Please pass it along to everyone you know!  Pass it along to youth group leaders and youth, friends and family, choir members and musicians, clergy and college students!  The RSVP will let us know how much food to get and how much help we’ll need with childcare.”

Boston UU Revival on May 12th!
Join us for a service of song, story, and reflection.
4-6pm.  Dinner to follow

Music by: Matt Meyer, Mark David Buckles,
and “The Music Committee,” a contemporary UU band.
$15 suggested donation.
An offering for the UU Urban Ministry will be taken.

Childcare Available
RSVP HERE



Occupy Your Faith
A Boston Unitarian Universalist Revival

Join us for an energetic service of song, story, and reflection as we share in a celebration of the transforming message of Unitarian Universalism.

Saturday, May 12th
Worship begins at 4pm, with a shared dinner to follow at 6pm.
RSVP HERE

Childcare will be available

At the UU Urban Ministry
10 Putnam st. in Roxbury
 
<10 min walk from Roxbury Crossing T stop

Music by: Matt Meyer, Mark David Buckles, and “The Music Committee” a contemporary UU band.
Suggested donation of $15.
A free-will offering will also be taken for the UU Urban Ministry of Boston.