Tell me about your Church on the web
When you write a newsletter coming from your church on the web this is the question you're hoping that your reader is going to ask you: "tell me about your church and it's activities" or perhaps "tell me about your church on the web". And this is where we left off in the previous post (Newsletter for a Christian Website Pt2). We were just about to tackle how to tell people about your church. They don't actually want you to tell them about the day to day life they actually want you to put it into the context of their daily lives.
- What magazines do they read?
- What books do they read?
- Where do they go to socialise?
- What is their disposable income?
- What do they spend their income on?
- Are they conservative by nature?
- Are they outgoing or do they prefer to be in the background?
These were the seven points left to cover and hopefully it's immediately obvious that they are focused on how the individual reading your church on the web newsletter interacts with life in general. Let's take the first two together, what the magazines and books they read are.
Magazines and books give a great impression of someone. Magazines tend to cover their immediate relationship to the world and books their long term relationship with life. This might sound a bit obtuse but the reality is that magazines by their nature tend to contain stories that are valuable in the short term: who's won a competition, the latest medical breakthrough, who is getting married and so on. This means that magazines reflect day to day life and are a barometer of life today. So when you want to reflect your church on the web, regardless of the format, newsletter or web page article, you should consider it in terms of what magazines are currently saying. This is especially true if your writing a blog of a similar time related piece.
Books on the other hand tend to not be as susceptible to the vagaries of day to day fads. Instead they tend to reflect long term views about life and how the human race interacts with each other. This might be robberies, brutal dictators, money stories or similar. As a result you can tell a lot about someone by knowing what type of book they are reading. For example it's likely that people that read a lot of biographies are interested in people and are therefore likely to be interested in interviews that you might do. People that like action books might be more interested in your activities. So what you do in terms of your church on the web presence needs to reflect that.
The next group, disposable income, socialise and income spend tell you about the persons relationship to money and others. Knowing about these enable you to understand whether they will react well to a call for funding or how they will react to language that seems frivolous in nature. It's linked to socialise since socialising cost money. If they socialise a lot and don't have a large disposable income then they are highly likely to be people that will do a lot to help bring people together and be interested in that type of story.
The final two items are about understanding the nature of your reader. Conservative people don't like articles on material about your church on the web that push the boundaries too much. They'll take a certain amount of pushing but only if it's provided within a context whereby there is plenty of more sober material to take off the edge.
This concludes a quick run through of the various things to consider when explaining your church on the web through any medium. It doesn't really matter if it's a newsletter or web page or blog or anything else. The key is to fully understand your reader and to write for them. Now this can be very difficult to achieve. If you don't know the people personally then how do you find out? What methods can you use? Well you'll be pleased to learn that it's not as hard as it might sound but that's the subject of another post!