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11th May 2018





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Building an editorial team

Have you taken over the editor’s role for your church magazine? Or are you planning to create a new publication on behalf of your church or faith group? The responsibility can be a daunting one for some.

Don’t worry. ACE has plenty to offer you. Here are some words of wisdom, based on the experience of our members who have been faced with the same feeling that you have as you start on your new venture. We hope they will help you.

Join ACE now. There’s more about building an editorial team in our member section

Agreeing your purpose

Some church publications have a written constitution which clearly defines their aims, objectives and raison d’etre. You may not feel the need to be so formal.

Even so, it will certainly be important to discuss the purposes of the magazine among the minister, senior church members, church leaders, the church council, others. The aim will be to reach agreement on the main purposes of your publication, and its target audience.

We recommend keeping a written note of these defined purposes, in case there are differences of opinion further down the line. Such groundwork will also be relevant if, over time, the ambitions for your publication grow and develop.

Join ACE now. There’s more about ideas relating to purpose in our member section

Advice for new editors

The need for good copy and photographs

If your magazine is going to attract readers, it will be competing with masses of other sources of information, both written (eg, newspapers, magazines, local free-sheets, flyers, posters, junk mail) and audio-visual (eg, commercial and BBC radio, terrestrial television, satellite TV, DVDs, film, the world wide web, and much else besides).

To achieve this you will need to write copy that grabs your readers’ attention straight away and use good photographs.

Join ACE now. There are more ideas to help write exciting copy in our member section

Funding your magazine

Many church newsletters are produced month-after-month, year-after-year on a shoe-string budget. Typically just one or two highly committed folk often do everything, from typing and designing the artwork, to photocopying it, folding the copies by hand (stapling if necessary), and then distributing these to individual readers.

For larger circulations, financial resources will hopefully allow the magazine to be printed by a local printer who receives the artwork from the editor either as hard copy, or more likely today as a pdf file submitted electronically.

Join ACE now. There’s more about funding and advertising in our member section

Artwork and print for your magazine

Can you imagine the extremely rare and unusual church magazine that isn’t now produced with the aid of modern technology in the form of laptop or personal computers, printers, flat-bed scanners, e-mail, Internet access and so on?

Can you imagine the most basic method of production? A church magazine could be created by typing and printing printing off individual articles and tables of events such as the church diary, photocopying clipart and drawing illustrations. Then these would be physically pasting these onto blank pages to produce the original artwork. Hard work!

Join ACE now. There’s more about technology and computers in our member section

Distributing your magazine

How you choose to make you church newsletter or magazine available will naturally depend upon the purpose of your publication and your target group of readers. It will also depend upon the circulation, the area in which it is to distributed and the people available.

Join ACE now. There’s more about distribution in our member section

How about a website?

Increasing numbers of churches have recognised the importance of having a “web presence”.  At the very least, this means enabling those who are looking on the Internet for a church or faith group, in a particular town or village, to be able to find you.

Collective websites such as www.achurchnearyou.com can provide this need and are set up to make it relatively easy for church officers to create a suitable description of your church and its location without having any web design skills whatsoever.

A website specific to your church is a huge advantage in keeping readers up-to-date with Services and what is happening in the community, provided it is kept up-to-date on a regular basis.

Join ACE now. There’s more about websites in our member section