The right use of different media (I)

I was recently appointed communications director for the Northern France Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I am still trying to do what it is called “l’état de lieu” or, how are the things here.

It reminds me a lot what I found in Spain 8 years ago, so that does not discourage me at all, contrary, that really moves me with more confidence since I have already lived one similar situation but now I have in my favor the expertise of 7 years of work in Spain. The only thing I have against is the new culture, social context with different habits (with its counterpart in communications of course), and, of course, the language. But thanks to God I am coping little by little with it, recognizing that I am not free of errors. I am always learning.

With me, many others were appointed in new positions. Those new department directors are all starting new projects with a lot of illusion and force, and since they know a bit of my expertise and I have offered them to cooperate (as it should be) to promote their activities and to build together a stronger reputation of the Church institutionally before all the church members and the society around us, I have found myself with an overflow of information in a great disorder.

Some are complaining because they have lost some visibility, and it is normal since before there no were too much communications but a couple of “sections” who published regularly. Others are willing to communicate even the littlest details and sometimes, because of the too detailed info, with no time in advance to react.

I am sharing in this series of articles what I have to transmit to the new team of the conference about how media works, and I hope you will find it useful.

The content of the following series is:

  • Evolution of communications.
  • Non-disruptive communications.
  • Trans-media communications.
  • Disruptive (and sometimes invasive) communications.
  • Temporary communications.
  • Specific content distribution.

Today we are going to talk introductorily about the evolution of communications and non-disruptive communications. Always in a very comprehensible non-scholar way.

Evolution of communications

It is not new, but now it is not only enough with sending e-mails and posting in one website. The old-fashioned ways of institutional communications need to merge with new technologies and new platforms as social media and portable devices.

Those who are not used to communicate in an adaptable way may trend to think in just posters and communications panel or wall. That is what we call non-disruptive and a-temporal communications. To say, we tend to think that people will always read the e-mail sooner or later, or they will stop by the wall to read the last announces pinned on a board or panel.

A kind of this is still true, and it is needed, but it is reserved only to the institutional website, and not to all of it, since nowadays are very dynamic and they need to be renewed almost every day if not several times a day. But communications now must to integrate other platforms such as instant messaging and social media, transforming the communications into trans-media communications, disruptive (and sometimes invasive) communications, temporary communications and specific content distribution.

I will try to explain the defy I have here and how to manage this situation.

Non-disruptive communications

As I said before, we still need to keep up with the institutional websites as the hub and reference of all communications as a church or institution. That has and needs to be the main and core reference of all communications. A place like a “meeting point” in case of emergency where everybody should be addressed or come in case of any doubt.

Evidently this is a classic model of non-disruptive communication, since is the people who comes when they want, at the moment they need the info, through the device they have at hand, the tendency is mostly with mobile devices, keep an eye on this, not only for Google PR reasons, but for a good user experience, so people will come back to visit our site.

Knowing this, we have to open several spaces in our website knowing that the information will be reachable several days, maybe weeks, beside other spaces for static information such as contact, FAQ, who we are and so on.

The e-mailing list and subscriptions is the other main stream of reaching non-disruptively to our audiences. Sadly, we need to implement a new service where I am right now, since that service is not in use and the massive mailing is misused affecting our reputation at domain level, being blacklisted too often. This has a very negative implication. Many of our subscribers never get any e-mail from us, since we are banned and blacklisted in many servers, so the e-mails are directly rejected or classified as SPAM. But this is another issue to be solved in near future, and probably we will dedicate one post later.

In the following article, we will depict briefly how the trans-media communications affects us as institution.

Download this paper as a PDF file.

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