These guidelines are intended for internal use by staff, members and volunteers who need to communicate to the church community. Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church publicizes information about programs and events connected to its ministries.

All submissions are subject to approval by staff. Deadlines and lead-times reflect this need.

If you have something to communicate and are not sure of the best method to reach your constituents, contact Communication Admin, Alejandra for assistance.

How to get the word out:

We publicize information about Emerson and our activities in The Emersonian (monthly newsletter that is both printed and shared electronically), our E-Blast (weekly electronic newsletter), Sunday worship bulletins (Order of Service), our website (www.emersonhouston.org), our social media pages (Twitter and Facebook), monitor slideshow in The Gathering Place, occasional press releases, and on specialized printed materials and flyer for placement on bulletin boards and kiosks.

Suggestions before you submit:

  • Read the corresponding guidelines below before writing copy
  • Send submissions on or before the due date
  • Keep in mind that copy will be proofread and edited according to church guidelines, style/standards, and word count/space constraints.
  • Each announcement should include, in this order: Event Title / Teaser, Date, Time, Location. Description. Contact information. (or RSVP by date for response: contact information).

Emerson Communications Vehicles:

Print Publications—

Order of Service

  • Purpose: Provides the worship service outline/references as well as announcements.
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Distribution: Handed out by ushers on Sunday mornings to all attendees.
  • Source: Order of Service outline is provided by the minister or guest speaker for that week. Announcements are derived from order of service, newsletter and e-blast submissions.
  • Submissions: Email content for placement. Attachments are welcome. Submit photos for use at editor’s discretion and according to space available. Content may be further edited by staff for clarity or space constraints. If submission is a recurring event that has been publicized recently, it may be put on a rotating basis or included periodically.
  • Deadline: Tuesday by noon, 3 days before the Sunday it is to be printed.
  • Word count: Maximum 80 words including contact name and email. Please use your word count tool to ensure that your submission does not exceed 80 words. Click here for a free online word count tool.
    • Share-the-plate: 115 words
    • Big church events are excluded from word count restrictions.

The Emersonian Newsletter

  • Purpose: Inspiring stories about the life and work of Emerson, church-wide events, ministries, and projects. Its primary purpose is NOT for promotion of dates or events (though they may be listed) but to tell WHY we do what we do…and why it matters.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Distribution: Posted on the Emerson website, link included in e-blast and on social media, mailed via the US Postal Service, made available onsite on kiosks.
  • Source: Communications team develops content outline for each issue; consults with staff to assign or suggest articles
  • Submissions: Email content for placement according to the published deadlines (see below). Date-driven articles must align with print dates and tell the WHY along with the what/when/where. Attachments are welcome. Submit photos for use at editor’s discretion and according to space available. Content may be further edited by staff for clarity or space constraints. If submission is a recurring event that has been publicized recently, it may be put on a rotating basis or included periodically.
  • Deadline: The third Tuesday of the month by noon for the following month’s newsletter.
  • Word count: Maximum 150 words including contact name and email. Please use your word count tool to ensure that your submission does not exceed 150 words. Click here for a free online word count tool.
    • Share-the-plate: 200 words
    • Major church events are excluded from word count restrictions.

Electronic Media—

Website

  • Purpose: Promotes Emerson to external audiences and potential members; provides timely information to members about programs, church resources, and events.
  • Updating: Ongoing
  • Submissions: Email new content for placement.
  • Deadline: Submissions for website postings must be done at least 5 business days in advance. If you require a new page, complicated layouts, or front page carousel placement, please submit 10 business days in advance.

E-Blast

  • Purpose: Provides timely updates about church news, events and activities to all subscribers. On a rotating basis, content may include “Save-the-Date” and “Ongoing Activities”.
  • Frequency: Weekly (typically sent on Wednesday afternoons)
  • Distribution: Those who opt in to the Emerson e-blast subscriber list.
  • Source: Members of the church submit content related to/or that take place at church.
  • Links: To a contact person and/or a webpage within our website or an external URL
  • Submissions: Email new content for placement. Attachments are welcome. Submit photos for use at editor’s discretion and according to space available. Content may be further edited by staff for clarity or space constraints.
  • Deadline: Tuesday by noon, one day advance in distribution date.
  • Word count: Maximum 50 words including contact name and email. Please use your word count tool to ensure that your submission does not exceed 50 words. Click here for a free online word count tool.

Social Media

  • Purpose: Information about upcoming church events; recent photo highlights; timely news and updates (closings, response to national event, etc.); inspirational material; sermon recaps; etc.
  • Frequency: Several times per week
  • Distribution: Twitter “followers” and Facebook “fans”
  • Source: Content derived from website, newsletter, e-blast and order of service but may be unique (e.g. a photo album not published elsewhere)
  • Links: To a contact person and/or a webpage within our website or an external URL
  • Submissions: Email new content for placement. Image attachments are welcome.
  • Scheduling: Intention to submit content should be provided at least a week in advance.
  • Word count: Maximum 30 words including contact name and e-mail.

Press Releases

  • Purpose: To inform the greater community of our major events/accomplishments
  • Frequency: Produced as needed based on scope of community appeal
  • Distribution: Local media
  • Submissions: Submit the idea, time frame and rough draft/major points to the Communications Committee at least 5 weeks prior to event (since it will
    typically be sent to the local media a few weeks prior to the event taking place)

    • Editing and formatting at the discretion of the Communications team

 

Visual Media—

Bulletin Boards / Kiosks / Info Tables

  • Purpose: Provide visual information about Emerson programs/ministries at designated locations across campus. Flyers with photos are encouraged.
  • Frequency: Weekly and monthly review/update/removal
  • Submissions: Submit flyers for your program/ministry. Production of documents requires two business days. If you are considering color copies, this will be an expense charged to your committee.

Flat-screen TV’s with slideshow

  • Purpose: Post upcoming events, photo recaps, or timely videos about ministry activities and initiatives
  • Source: PowerPoint content
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Submission: Contact Alejandra if interested. Please provide photos and images. Event title, date, time and location required (20 word count limit). More text will be added if space allows.
  • Deadline: Tuesday by noon for that week.

Video

  • Approved postings may be shared via Emerson’s YouTube account or on the Emerson website.
  • Submissions: Send to Communications Committee

Banners/Other Signage

  • Produced at the discretion of the Communications Department in special circumstances based on scope of appeal
  • Contact the office for more information.

 

Questions? Contact Alejandra Gonzalez.