Collaborative Workflow in a Church/Ministry
Hello and welcome to the #AskNatchi Show. I’m Natchi Lazarus. Today we’re talking about “How to create a collaborative workflow for social media within churches and ministries”. Many churches around the world are still in lockdown mode. Even if they’re not in lockdown and they are partially functioning, there are many functions or aspects of social media that are still being done by remote workers because they’re not able to come in person and get together in an office. So this is an important topic.
4 Practical tips for a smooth workflow
I want to give you 4 steps, or 4 things you need to do to get your collaborative functioning going and make it more efficient for your ministry in social media.
Tip #1: Create a planning document
#1: Collaborative plan document. Create a document that’ll help you put these pieces in place. Like who will collaborate with whom? What is the hierarchy that you’ll follow? Who will approve the content? Who will approve posting? Also, decide on what are the pieces that you’re going to collaborate on? For example, are you going to collaborate on content creation? Or are you just going to collaborate on posting? Because I know many churches actually create content as a small team. Just a few people get together and put the content together. But where they need collaboration more is actually in packaging that content or posting it or promoting it.
So decide those pieces and then decide who is going to do it and how the approval process is going to work. This ‘approval’ process is crucial because people are all over the place. You don’t want the wrong message going out. So make sure that you have a proper plan. All this can be put together in a Google doc or an Excel sheet. That is something that I call a collaborative planning document. That is the most important thing.
Tip #2: Think through processes & systems
#2: Collaborative processes and systems. You say, “Ok, now that we are going to make this happen. How is it going to flow?” For example, if you create content, a sermon video first, then how are you going to pass this sermon on to other people in the team? What is the process? What is the workflow that you are going to have? So processes and systems to make this collaboration happen.
I highly recommend you document this as well because it’s not just important to have the plan in place, but also the details of how it’s going to happen. Who is going to give it to whom and what date? Who is going to get back on what date? That way you can work back and make sure that your collaboration is smooth. Everybody’s on the same page. Everybody understands how this whole thing works. So the process and systems being documented, that’s number two.
Tip #3: Select and use the right tools
#3: Collaborative tools. I am a big tools person, you know that by now. Make sure you have the right tools, collaborative tools. I’ll give you a tip. Did you know that on Dropbox you can literally approve all your videos and your images by giving feedback back and forth? If you have a designer or an editor using Dropbox, then you can upload the file on Dropbox, and Dropbox’s certain plans have this facility where you can comment on the video with the timestamp. So you basically watch the video on Dropbox and if it gets to, like 3rd minute, you can just pause and give a comment. And the person looking at the video on the other side using the same Dropbox link will be able to see the comment on that (3rd min) part. So it makes it very easy for you to give edit instructions or comments to your new editor.
Use stuff like that. Canva has a collaborative facility if you’re using that for design. Adobe Suite has a collaborative facility where you can store the content in a common location. There are many tools. I don’t want to go too much into details, but make sure you have many collaborative tools. Reach out to me, DM me if you want to get a list of tools, I’ll be happy to share some of those tools with you. So that’s number three.
Tip #4: Review on a regular basis
Finally, #4: Collaborative review. This is very important. When you’re collaborating with people, make sure you have a constant review. Maybe review at least bi-monthly, if weekly is too much for you. Maybe have it fortnightly or monthly. Have a review system where you go through how the collaboration is working, making sure everybody’s on the same page, there are no gaps. This is important because people are remote. They are working independently. If you don’t review and correct small things, then that could grow into a bigger challenge at a later point. So make sure you have a review.
There you have it. Those are the 4 things that are required for a smooth collaborative workflow of social media processes in your church and ministry I hope this is useful. If you have any other questions related to strategy or digital or social media, then send it to me, I’ll be happy to answer them for you. I’ll see you next week with another answer to another question. Until then you stay connected, stay blessed, and stay very safe. God bless you.
Author of The Connected Church. Social Media and Digital Marketing Consultant for Nonprofits, Faith-based Organisations, Churches and Ministries. You can subscribe to Natchi’s email newsletter by clicking here.