Highlights from #ThatCC San Diego

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Even though I could not make it out to San Diego, I was able to join the conference on the Live Stream (totally free for PRO members by the way). I pulled up a seat on my couch and drank from the fire hose of information coming from the speakers – wow is all I can say. I love learning and this workshop gave me a ton to think about. In later blog posts we will go a little more in-depth on a few things from the workshop , but for now here is a glimpse of the day – via my notes – if you were unable to check it out.

10 Highlights from each session of the San Diego Workshop


Sam Hoover

Sam spoke on strategy and storytelling. He kicked of the workshop and did a great job. Here are some of the highlights from Sam’s session and the Q&A he did.

  1. Social Media should compliment your work, not compete against it.
  2. Interest is why people visit. Investment is why people come back. Invest in your organization’s bigger story and invest in God’s bigger story.
  3. Finding stories is the secret sauce to a successful and engaging online presence.
  4. Whatever your story is at your organization, your communication and content should be filtered through that story.
  5. Social media is not the fourth part of the Godhead, but it CAN help tell the gospel story.
  6. What to post? Post content that is relevant to your audience.
  7. Where to post? Website, use email, Facebook, Instagram.
  8. How often to post? Post as often as the audience will tolerate. Not a music number. Use what works for you.
  9. Just because you can post doesn’t mean you should. Post when you have content that fits your audience and story.
  10. Do these four things each day in regards to social media: Learn. Create. Engage. Teach. 

Anthony Miller

Anthony spoke about the ABC’s of Biblical Marketing – Assess your audience, build a brand, create community. His session was incredible and I will definitely have to go back and re-watch it to get all the information he shared. Here are the highlights I was able to get down in the midst of my furious typing.

  1. Communications is THE thing that the church does.
  2. Pastor of Communications is someone who serves, shepherds, and stewards others.
  3. Assess your audience. Who are you dealing with?
  4. Branding is distinguishing yourself from others when you “Brand” yourself.
  5. Our competition is not other churches. Our competition is time and apathy.
  6. Your brand is what others say about your church. Your brand is made up of your: identity, experience, culture, & product.
  7. A good brand creates a great community around what they do and who they are.
  8. Stop selling and start serving. Great communities serve above all else.
  9. Create opportunities for people to experience you before you ask them to buy into what you are doing.
  10. If your communications strategy does not have a story telling aspect, rethink your strategy. 

Jay Kranda

Jay spoke about what Online Church is and what it should look like for any context. Online Church is far more than your service being Live Streamed.

Check out the top highlights from Jay’s session in San Diego.

  1. Don’t do something just because you can, you need to think about “why” and then leverage that strategy.
  2. Church online is an outreach.
  3. Online church doesn’t mean you stream and add a chat wall. There is so much more than that.
  4. Your content lasts longer than the week of. Don’t let your content die in your archives.
  5. Church online is more than just your live stream.
  6. We have the ability to connect what is happening in the church building to the person who is sitting at home.
  7. There is success with companies who have a digital & physical strategy. The church needs to be the same.
  8. The sites that do well on the Internet do the best at content curation. How are you curating your own content?
  9. Just like your un-mowed lawn can say a lot about your house. Your digital presence can say a lot about your church.
  10. Make your online church the front door to your physical church.

Maggie Barragan & Mei Ling Nazar 

These two awesome ladies presented on why PR is essential to any church communication strategy. Check out some of the highlights from their session. Please note this is just a sampling of what they shared. They were so good and informative.

  1. Your church should be the good in the news
  2. Someone who would never come to church may hear about your church on the news and show up to see what’s happening.
  3. If you are going to speak during a time of crisis, your church needs to be an important voice, don’t just be noise.
  4. When thinking of your communications team – create something that others want to be part of.
  5. Give Leadership Away.
  6. We live in a world of lawsuits. Because of this your organization needs to be prepared for a crisis. It’s not if, but when.
  7. Anticipate a crisis. Have a plan in place because at some point a PR Crisis will happen eventually.
  8. No one wants to be a crisis spokesperson. However, someone needs to be, find out who that person is at your organization.
  9. Go to the platform where the crisis happened.
  10. Learn from your mistakes


If you missed the workshop you can watch every session online (free for PRO members). Go to the videos.





Meghan is one of our regular contributors and is the Associate Pastor of Fairborn UMC in Fairborn, Ohio where she oversees all digital and social media communications. She also works as a digital communications consultant for churches, local businesses, and non-profits.

Read more articles from Meghan.