Texas Annual Conference is Getting a Facelift
Conference attendees were the first to see the unveiling of TAC’s new logo during a communications briefing led by new Communication Director Paula Arnold. “The vertical bars in the new logo symbolize the Texas Annual Conference’s narrowed focus on three primary priorities: growing vital congregations, investing in the young and developing leaders,” says Arnold, “and three is also a meaningful reminder of the trinity.” Jokes Arnold, “Some folks in our logo development focus group said the new design made them think of a cell phone signal that gets stronger toward the power source, which, appropriately in our logo, is the cross and flame.”
Updating the visual image of the conference has been Arnold’s first “charge” as director -- to more clearly communicate the purpose of the conference. The visual ‘facelift’ will also extend to the district and TAC offices over time to better convey “that we are about growing vital congregations and investing in leadership and the young,” she adds.
Secondly, Arnold has been conducting an audit to assess communication effectiveness related to readership, web traffic and overall stewardship of resources. “In this process, we have realized that the conference is spending over $136,000 (staff time and print/mail) on the Cross Connection to communicate to less than 2% of our total audience of 280,000 Methodists within our 700 churches.”
After studying statistics and conducting surveys, TAC leadership is adopting a “less is more” approach to communications including a move to electronic communications to provide information in a more timely, convenient and cost-efficient manner.
“Beginning in July, the Cross Connection will become a digital newsletter that will incorporate the group email featuring district news alongside news from local churches and the conference,” Arnold explained.
Communications’ third overall charge is to manage and leverage secular media. Assisting with crisis communications as needed, Arnold says TAC’s loftier goal is to “use our resources not just to talk to each other but to facilitate the transformation of the world by helping congregations get positive local media coverage and raising awareness of the denomination on a national and international scale.”
Concludes Arnold, “Conference consultant Greg Jones and Guest speaker Jorge Acevedo have been reminding us all week that it is time to be innovative and experimental to adapt to a changing world. There will be bumps along the way as we figure out what works best for our audiences, but we hope to make the transition as smooth as possible.”