First, the bad news. “Social Media and the Episcopal Church” was posted on the Web not on the Episcopal Church site but on that of Monk Development. Moreover, one has to enter personal information to access it. (You don’t have to, however. You can simply view the PDF file here.) If you’re in a cynical mood, you might see the paper as an extended advertisement for a Monk product called Ekklesia360, which is a tool for building church Web sites. That would be a mistake.
Following an executive summary, “Social Media and the Episcopal Church” discusses six “best practices.” I will list them here, but you should really read the paper, which is rather short.
- Know thyself
- Make your website the crown jewel of your communications strategy — and keep it fresh with constant updates
- Make it a two-way conversation
- Put someone in charge of your online strategy
- Don’t be too controlling
- Don’t reinvent the wheel
Churches that will flourish in the world of social media are those that understand that these are not just new tools for dumping information or pushing agendas. Social media demands transparency, openness, and a willingness to be part of a conversation.Except for the shameless self-promotion by Monk Development, I have no quibbles with the content of “Social Media and the Episcopal Church.” Read it for yourself and see if (1) you don’t agree with its contention that the new technologies are important and require deliberate and ongoing attention and (2) that St. Paul’s is doing almost nothing of what is being suggested.