Blog

/Blog/

Leveraging the Power of Photography

leveraging-photography

Meet our favorite Aussie Dave Adamson. Here’s the key points you need to know when it comes to your church and photography from Dave’s message.

  • “I never planned to do this. I never planned to be a pastor.”
  • I could tell you that children are dying of starvation in Africa, but you’ll just bleep that from your mind. Or I could show you a photo and you will remember it forever.
  • People will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
  • Images are the language of the 21st century – Dr. Leonard Sweet Is your church speaking that language?
  • Photos, not words, on social media will tell the story of your church. Photos give people the chance to visit your church before they visit your church.
  • Vision of North Point: To build churches that unchurched people love to attend.
  • Your website is the front door of your church. Social media is the pathway to that front door.
  • When we tell our story well, we move people from 2D to 3D.
  • Clicking with people is more important than clicking the shutter
  • 81% of people only skim the content they read online.
  • People form a first impression in a mere 50 miliseconds.-Inc.com
  • An estimated 84% of communications will be visual by 2018 –Inc.com
  • Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts. –Inc.com
  • Facebook posts from brands that included images earned 87% of all engagements. –Inc.com
  • Tweets with images earned up to 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more RTs. – Inc.com
  • What about images make people stop scrolling; bright light, strong contrast, sharp images, people images but not too many
  • Change your angle to make people feel like they’re in the room with you.
  • We want people who have never been in church to know what it feels like to be in church through the photography we share.
  • Our goal is to get people to just stop scrolling.
  • Leverage your people with the skills that they already have.
  • Goals of our volunteer teams: 1) More in love with Jesus 2) Relationally connected 3) Better at their craft
  • Teach your volunteers where to stand.
  • Teach your volunteers when to shoot photographs.
  • Teach your volunteers how to process their photos.
  • LOOK INTO: Fuji XT-10
  • Don’t use digital zoom. Zoom with your feet.
By |2016-09-20T14:44:52+00:00September 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Winning! with Darrel Girardier

pablo (1).png

Here’s all of the top quotes and key notes you don’t want to forget from Darrel Girardier’s talk at That Church Conference.

  • Don’t let your social media be like a plane where it takes off and lands without intersecting anything.
  • Give people what they need, not what they want.
  • When you feel like you’re the only one who can do it, you begin to feel like a superhero.
  • Constantly playing superhero leads to burnout.
  • Take yourself out of the equation and ask yourself “how is the task going to get done?” @dgirardier #ThatCC @ThatChurchConf
  • At the end of the day, you are playing a perception game.
  • Salemanship is part of the job.
  • Your scorecard is one of the following: attendance, building, cash. (That’s not necessarily a stated reality though). To figure out what the scorecard is, see what’s being celebrated in your church worship service.
  • “Your Ministry Scorecard: What’s being celebrated? How are we doing? Are we doing what we hope we’d be doing?” @dgirardier #ThatCC
  • Don’t write goals. Write mission and vision.
  • Every piece of content has to be aligned the mission and vision of your church. Your mission and vision is not ‘go and make disciples;’ it’s what makes you unique in your area.
  • Are you more in love with social media and church communications than the Bride of Christ?
  • We understand that the church is not based upon the next building we create but rather the next relationship we create.

Follow Darrel on Twitter at @DGirardier 

Follow me on Twitter at @AlyHathcock

By |2016-09-20T14:08:17+00:00September 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

5 Lightbulb Moments That Could Change Your Communications Strategy

Here’s the top quotes and key points from Phil Bowdle at West Ridge Church.

  • What’s your one job?
  • Be an advocate for your audience.
  • Start with questions before answers.
  • 3 questions:  What do you want to accomplish? What’s the problem to solve? What are the barriers?
  • WATCH: Lights at West Ridge: A Christmas Light Experience
  • Sometimes you can get clarity from your pastor by asking him what it is he wants it to accomplish. @philbowdle #ThatCC
  • Quit doing announcements. Start doing next steps.
  • The model we have for church announcements right now has been the model for 30-40 years. We’re assuming we have people’s attention. We often don’t.
  • Create standards for what is communicated during services.
  • Tip the sacred cow. Quit doing announcements.
  • Ask these questions: Does this announcement reach 80% of our audience? Is it a key on-ramp to a ministry? Does it connect to the pastor’s message?
  • If you have to be able to answer the question, “So what?”
  • Stop sharing bullet points. Start sharing stories.
  • Get creative with your methods.
  • Get proactive with a communications plan
  • What are the next 1-2 steps you want your audience to know?
  • If you’re sharing more than 1-2 things, your message is going to get muddled.
  • “Your audience has a limited bandwidth. What are the 1-2 next steps you want your audience to know?” – @philbowdle #ThatCC
  • The number of people who are associated with our church is increasing, but church attendance is down.
  • Our church is not competing with the church down the street. We’re competing with soccer practice.
  • Are you healthy and sustainable?
  • Don’t let the fear of being disliked cripple you from being effective.
  • Create standards so you don’t have to be the bad guy… the standards can be the bad guy.
  • If you are not willing to say no, you are not being an advocate for your audience. You are being a staff member. – @philbowdle #thatcc
  • Thinking like a staff member=overwhelming your audience. Saying no and strategically communicating=serving members. @philbowdle #ThatCC
  • “During my first year, I deleted Papyrus from a couple people’s computers.”
  • We have to prevent people from tuning out
  • Stewardship > Excellence
  • Ask God that you will be a good steward of everything He places in your hands.
  • Stop trying to be the church down the street. Embrace what God has given you.
By |2016-09-20T13:43:38+00:00September 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

5 Lightbulb Moments That Could Change Your Communications Strategy

Here’s the top quotes and key points from Tim Schraeder from Willow Creek at That Church Conference.

  • “The local church is the hope of the world.” @BillHybels
  • Make complex things simple. Make simple things compelling.
  • What you do matters.
  • Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.
  • THOUGHT: Uncharted Waters
  • We get to help people make sense of [bad situations]. We get to speak into hard situations.
  • We don’t know where in the journey that God has someone on that we will intersect with them.
  • What is cool and trendy today will be obsolete tomorrow.
  • We don’t always live in a world of positive feedback. Nobody says you did a really good job kerning the fonts on that flyer.
  • We are often the front lines of the church.
  • It’s hard to see the eternal significance.
  • The ultimate goal of what we do is transformation. We don’t often get to see the end results.
  • We are more connected than ever before, but more disconnected than ever before.
  • In a hyperconnected world we need to disconnect so we can reconnect with God
  • You don’t have to sacrifice your spirit on the altar of ministry. Just because you have the capacity to do it doesn’t mean you have to do it. –Present over Perfect
  • Your self are included in the kingdom you wish to serve. If you aren’t thriving, your whole kingdom ministry is not thriving.
  • Our job is to help people find their way Home.
  • Love is never found in the hustle.
  • We have to go on Airplane Mode. We have to find time for God to speak to God.
  • Your soul matters so much more than your output.
  • God will do his work through us but we have to let him do his work through us first.
  • Learn to say no, learn to power down, learn to go offline and listen to what God has to say to you #ThatCC @TimSchraeder @ThatChurchConf
  • Your worth isn’t found in what you do, but in who you are in Christ. @TimSchraeder #thatcc
  • We cannot give the best of ourselves if we don’t learn to value ourselves more than our work. – @TimSchraeder #ThatCC
  • You matter more than what you do and what you do matters a lot.
By |2016-09-20T13:18:00+00:00September 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Church Branding: Here's Your Starting Point

Ministry strategies and programming are constantly changing, and as a result, many churches, ministries, and nonprofits must continuously evolve. At some point during this ongoing evolution, the organization must undergo rebranding in order to for the relationship between the ministry and those it serve to remain relevant.

With nonprofits and non-church organizations, this rebranding is generally initiated by the head of the organization, such as the director, coordinator, or CEO. However, with church ministries, the initiator of rebranding may be the pastor or director of a specific ministry rather than the senior or executive pastor(s). That being said, it’s incredibly important that the senior leadership of the church is onboard with a church ministry rebranding initiative, as rebranding will affect not just that ministry but the church as a whole. Rebranding without the support of the senior leadership is an unwise decision and may have consequences.

Before rebranding, church ministries need to be able to answer a couple of questions. The questions below are a start, but they are definitely not exhaustive.

  • Why are we rebranding?
  • How can we allow those who are part of our ministry to be involved in rebranding?
  • Are we pigeonholed as something that we (as a ministry) have outgrown? (ie: specific programs, ways of doing ministry, etc)
  • Right now, when outsiders look at us, as a brand, for the first time, what do they see and feel? What do we want them to see and feel?
  • What are we shifting away from and shifting towards?
  • In a sentence or two, what do we want to be known as?
  • What do we want to stand for?
  • What do we want our message to be?
  • How will rebranding affect/change how we do ministry?
  • What are the goals of the rebrand?
  • Do we have a target demographic?

It’s also important to look into whether or not rebranding one ministry will cause another ministry to need rebranding. For example, if the children’s ministry rebrands and changes the way it does ministry, it will affect how the junior high and senior high youth ministries function and may force them to reevaluate their ministry and branding.

Special Offer
Shoot me an email at alyhathcock1@gmail.com with the subject line “Free Half-Hour of Consultitng” to get a free 30 minutes with me via Skype to go through any of these (or other) questions you have or anything regarding branding/rebranding proccess. You must book by 9/25/16.

 

 

By |2016-09-20T06:30:12+00:00September 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Your Brand Should Be

The ultimate message of the Church is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your brand centers around that message. All branding should be a means by which to point people to Jesus.

In order for that to happen, your brand and all of your messaging should be…

  • glorifying to God
  • strategic
  • cohesive
  • passionate
  • honest
  • clear/simple
  • consistent

Let’s unpack what that means…

Glorifying to God – The Church’s purpose is to glorify God. Therefore, it follows that your message should glorify God as well.

Strategic – We want to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.

Cohesive – All ministries should be working together to share the Gospel. If you have 4 separate ministries, it should feel like they are all under the same church – not 4 separate churches with 4 separate ways and means of communicating a message.

Passionate – If we are not passionate about our message, why would anyone else be?

Honest – We want people to trust what we say.

Clear/Simple – The Gospel is simple. Our message should be simple and clear-cut as well.

Consistent – We need to be who we say we are, and stick with it. All of our communications should look like it came from one church with one overarching message, not several churches with a dozen different mission statements and values.

By |2016-09-19T08:29:42+00:00September 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Why Branding Matters

Your brand is who you are. If you don’t know your brand, you don’t know who you
are. A good brand acts as an achor for the church. It is woven into everything that you communicate, facilitate, and produce. Your brand is what makes you you.

Here’s a couple reasons why branding matters…
BRANDING PERCEPTION IS REALITY
Your brand affects how people perceive your church. Our guests’ perceptions, whether good or bad, is reality. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to leverage our brand in such a way that the church is perceived as we desire it to be.

“It’s our responsibility to shape the way people view our local churches.” – Andy Stanley

BRANDING INCREASES CONSISTENCY
Branding increases communication consistency. You use the same langauge, designs, and fonts. People know what to expect from you because you are consistent. The lack of consistency leads people to believe that your church is inconsistent in who it is, how it communicates, and what it communicates.

BRANDING RESULTS IN CLARITY
Branding your communications – not just visually but with your words as well – gives your ministry clarity. People see exactly who you are. Your messages become clear, concise, and more compelling. Nobody wants to wade through a mess to try to understand what you’re saying. They want to see you in all your authentic glory for who you really are.

By |2016-09-18T13:00:24+00:00September 18th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What is Branding?

Branding is who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be. It’s what you represent and stand for. It is your promise to your target audience. It tells them what they can expect from you. Your brand is what differentiates you from your competitiors.

Your logo is not your brand. Updating your logo is not “rebranding.” It doesn’t redefine who you are. Your essence is still the same.

Branding involves…

  • Strategy
  • Messaging
  • Emotional Appeal
  • Visual Identity (Design)

Your brand combines all of these things to define who you are and how you are perceived.

 

 

By |2016-09-17T18:17:10+00:00September 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Why I Design: My Story

Growing up, I took a lover. Actually, I took two – Jesus and graphic design. However, I grew up in the days where church newsletters were printed out and mailed to you. They were filled with long blocks of the same serif font with random clipart images scattered in to break up the text. It was sad, to say the least. When the internet and later, social media took form, churches were always the last ones to embrace it.

It seemed like my love for Jesus and the church was incompatible with my lovefor good design and branding. I served at several churches as a youth ministry leader. While all the programming was great and the churches sincerely loved Jesus, most of the churches struggled with visual design – whether it be logos, graphic design for posters or social media, or even just photography.

Because they struggled with visual design, they also seemed to struggle with being connected with their community outside of the church building and in the digital sphere.

Eventually, I began to start asking myself a single question…

“Why can’t churches and nonprofits have good media like other organizations do?”

After reading through study after study and conducting my own original research in search of answers, I found out that the answer to this question boils down to 1 thing: resources.

Churches & nonprofits are the 2 groups of businesses that tend to lack the resources – whether financially or in terms of skill and manpower – to create good media.

During my senior year of college, I started partnering with churches and youth ministries to help them with logo designs and branding. After all, I had nearly 10 years of experience doing graphic design and I also deeply understood the audiences they were trying to reach.

After graduating from Samford University with a degree in journalism and mass communication, I accepted a part-time job as the director of student ministries at Brookview Wesleyan Church and launched Aly Hathcock Media as a passion project. Through Aly Hathcock Media, I’ve been creating visual media for churches and nonprofits across the United States. I have had the opportunity to work with several amazing ministry workers and serve as a resource so that they too can have good visual communications.

After all, if we truly believe the Gospel is the best story ever told, shouldn’t we be doing everything in our power to communicate that story well?

Want to see some of what I’ve been doing? Check me out at alyhathcock.com. You can also stalk me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

By |2016-06-16T15:38:48+00:00June 16th, 2016|Media, Uncategorized|0 Comments