There may be times parishioners miss Mass — they may be sick (or taking care of someone sick) or on vacation — but many of them still like to know what’s going on in the parish. The bulletin is the main way to do that.
In order to share that information with members, the parish needs to make sure their tech and social media channels work for them. Below are a few ideas that will allow that to happen.
Post It to the Website
If you aren’t already posting a PDF of your bulletin to your website, then this is where you need to start. Put the thumbnail of the most current version on the parish home page, with a link to past PDFs on a separate page. This is probably the easiest way to make the bulletin digital, but it does require the parishioners to be aware that it’s posted there and to visit the website to read it.
Pro-tip: Remember to post the bulletin to the website at or around the same time every week to keep it consistent for the parishioners.
Share It on Social
In addition to posting the bulletin to the web, you can share the bulletin to your social media platforms. Create a post with the cover image and share the link to the PDF within the text of the post. It can link to the same place where the PDF is posted on your parish website once the newest version is available. This method allows you to deliver access directly to the parishioner, rather than requiring them to come to you. As long as your members follow the parish Facebook page or other social media, the bulletin will pop up in their feed.
Pro-tip: Consider using the post to tease some of the content in the bulletin — like a special message from the pastor or registration information for a special event — as a way to pique interest.
Use parishioner email addresses from registration forms to create mailing lists to send reminders of holy day Mass times, important dates and events, registration deadlines, or other items from the bulletin. This serves as a complement to the printed and digital bulletins.
Pro-tip: Consider embedding images, logos, or links within the body of the email to give it a more attractive look and interactive communication.
If you find that a lot of people are reading the bulletin online, think about optimizing the bulletin content for web reading.
- Keep the content relatively short. Most people won’t read big chunks of text.
- Put the most important information toward the top — dates, times, registration deadlines, contacts — followed by more details underneath.
- Organize the layout with the content you want to prioritize where it will be seen first, usually toward the top of the page, often to the left side of the page, and on the earlier pages of the bulletin.
- Use logos, clip art, and illustrations on appropriate entries. Examples of where this would work are for vacation Bible school, an annual dinner or festival, and film events and concerts.
How does your parish share its bulletin information? Let us know in the comments below!