Today at Navigators headquarters we broadcasted a live stream panel with three NavPress authors: Aubrey Sampson, Catherine McNeil, and Tricia Lott Williford. The discussion was moderated by fellow NavPress author Bekah DiFelice. You can watch the replay for the stream below.
I serve as the strategic communications manager for The Navigators. I keep my ministry supporters up to date through regular updates. Below is an archive of those posts. For a general overview of my work with The Navigators click here.
This week I had the opportunity to train staff serving with me at The Navigators headquarters on the latest updates made to our branding guidelines. I went through topics like how to make a logo for a ministry event, the status of our various trademark submissions, and updates to our “elevator speech” (a 15-second description of The Navigators, something you could tell someone in the time it would take to take an elevator up a floor).
The staff receiving the training are individuals we have designated as “brand champions,” those who have gone through extra training to become experts in all the guidelines so they can more effectively apply the principles in their ministry efforts. Our brand team in the communication department is only five strong; we need the valuable contribution of these brand champions to help our entire staff community use our brand effectively.
Ultimately the point of branding isn’t just to make sure the logo is used appropriately or that trademark symbols are in the proper place. Good branding should tell a consistent and captivating story to the people reading it and seeing it. The Navigators has a unique, compelling vision to see Life-to-Life® disciplemakers create spiritual generations of believers, each aiming to reach people with the gospel of Jesus all throughout the world. When our branding teams makes a change to our guidelines it’s in an effort to tell that story more clearly.
For two months this summer I had my very first intern, a student from University of Arizona named Anna. Anna’s focus was on content management, which included adding information to Navigator websites, editing announcement copy, and becoming adept with our brand language.
I also assigned Anna a special project: constructing an online timeline of Navigator history that you’ll be able to find on Navigators.org (we’ll publish it early next year). In addition to the work she did for our department she also took part in a Bible study for those in the HQ internship program that covered the topic of abiding in Christ.
Anna is looking at getting into the publishing industry, and I believe the experiences she had while here this summer will help her as she takes initial steps in her professional career. I hope I’m able to hire an intern as great as her again next summer!
Anna has just started her senior year at U of A where she will be one of the student leaders in the Navigator ministry there. Please pray for Anna as well as her fellow Navigator students and staff team, that God would grant them amazing opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus to the new incoming freshmen.
Yesterday was the communications department quarterly offsite meeting at the Penrose House. Below is our team photo, including my summer intern Anna.
Last month I joined representatives from nine ministries in Orlando for the fourth annual Communications and Marketing Summit. The ministries attending included The Navigators, Cru, Intervarsity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Young Life, Wycliffe, Youth for Christ, Athletes in Action, and Coalition of Christian Outreach. In a spirit of partnership each ministry shared insight on their successes and setbacks in the realm of communications and marketing in ministry at a national level.
My favorite session was titled “Moving Marketing into the Heart of your Mission.” One of our biggest challenges as marketers in a Christian ministry isn’t the actual marketing; it’s educating our ministry staff on what we mean by the term “marketing” (it’s not a dirty word!) using non-industry jargon. The end goal is twofold. First, we want to see staff take advantage of all that marketing can offer their ministry efforts. Second, we want to demonstrate that marketers in a ministry context are equally passionate holders of their ministry’s vision who simply specializes in a particular function.
The three panelists leading this session provided the group with several practical steps someone in a role like mine can take to bridge this gap with the people we’re serving. Now back at Navigators headquarters, I’m looking for opportunities to apply what I’ve learned. As I write this update I’m helping to shape three major communication initiatives, including the roll out of a new strategic plan for our staff. I’m hoping that, in the midst of all the tactical planning, I’m able to influence our staff toward a more positive opinion of marketing within the work of The Navigators.
Today our communications team tried out something new on our Facebook page. For the first time we published a Facebook Live video interview. It’s something I’ve wanted to try out for a long time since live video has been shown to be one of the most engaging forms of content on Facebook (plus Facebook shows those posts to more people than any other kind of post we would publish). I’m really excited to have taken the plunge.