Sharing Timely Stories to Encourage a Community

Sharing Timely Stories to Encourage a Community

 
 
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Episode 05

Meet our guest: Tricia Rife
Tricia has worked at The Wesleyan Church headquarters for the past 11 years. She is currently an Assistant Editor in their communications department. Most of what she does involves writing, editing, and curating stories for their website, blog, and regular publications. She loves being a part of a team that tells uplifting, inspiring stories that make a difference in people’s lives. You can find The Wesleyan Church on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also find their news page here.
Shifting Focus

Prior to the COVID stay-at-home order, Tricia’s team was deep into planning and producing content for The Wesleyan Church’s General Conference, which is held every four years and was quickly approaching. When the event was postponed, the team shifted their focus to producing resources and telling stories that would benefit the churches as they were making COVID-related changes. 

Providing Needed/Wanted Content
The communications team has been sharing positive stories surrounding COVID and try to take that same approach regularly. They are there to support the churches and indiduals in the Wesleyan community by giving them resources and providing inspiration on how to have a positive impact in culture and society. Current events are a part of that, and they provide content to address those topics. At the time of this recording, they were planning content to address the conversations about racism in our country. 
Creating Community in spite of distance
Bringing everyone together by addressing important issues and sharing stories fosters a sense of community. Tricia’s team wants each each member of every church to feel that they have a part to play in the work of the Wesleyan Church. To further this goal, they held a virtual prayer event that was originally planned as part of the General Conference. This was able to bring everyone together, regardless of location, and really drive home that each individual is a part of the larger community. 
Sharing Stories, both Big and Small

Sharing stories is a major part of The Wesleyan Church’s communications strategy. Tricia discusses the value of sharing both big and small stories — the variety of stories helps a variety of people relate. We have seen many organizations struggle with finding some of the less obvious stories to share. Tricia’s department has created a culture of sharing stories. They are regularly in contact with pastors and lay-people about stories of change that they are seeing in their communities. By staying connected and emphasizing the importance of the stories that they tell, they have an entire network to draw from. 

Getting Practical

Tricia shares some practical tips on how generate communication pieces that keep your organization connected. Her tips? Use consistent verbiage, have a strategy, and stick to deadlines.