Digital presence increasingly important
The last year has witnessed the continued growth of the Diocese of Guildford’s digital presence, with social media increasingly the driver for traffic to news and events on our brand new website, optimised to reflect the growing needs of mobile users.
Behind the scenes, Guildford pioneered the Church of England’s brand new Content Management System (database), a national initiative pooling funding and resources to deliver substantial savings and ultimately provide an interactive online directory, which will be delivered in the near future. With these new platforms now in place, we are in a strong position to increase communications support and facilities for parishes.
Alongside infrastructure, a strategic development has seen the increase of video output, broadcast through our YouTube channel. Covering events such as the Inauguration of Bishop Andrew and the PEACE Refugee Response day, video has widened the reach of sermons and messages, giving opportunities to ‘watch again’ and to give feedback. You can join the conversation by ‘liking’ ‘following’ or ‘subscribing’ to CofEGuildford channels and accounts.
The Wey continues to reach every parish eight times a year, even with most stories now ‘web-first’. Even with digital developments we are aware of the needs of those who engage more readily with printed materials, and of the engagement opportunities The Wey gives parishes, with many handing it out at the end of services, or delivering locally when a local story features (requests for more copies or free ‘bumper’ deliveries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org).
The day-to-day work of sourcing and sharing stories, liaising with the media, and supporting parishes has continued, with numerous positive media engagements. It is a sign of the times that these now include The Huffington Post (Bishop Andrew on Magna Carta 15/6/15) alongside the more traditional outlets of BBC, ITV, local newspapers and radio stations. The online media environment continues to change as fast as we adapt, but we are now really beginning to see the opportunities it can bring, and an urgent need for Christian voices amid these noisy forums.