The communications Team had its first meeting on March 22, 2012. Its mission, as described by Eric Skagerberg in the team’s first annual report, is:
“The goal of the newly formed Communications Team is to coordinate and oversee all UUCSR communications activities and outlets, including the website, newsletter, order of service, e-lists, directories, and calendars. The Team includes those who maintain the UUCSR website and e-lists as well as those who produce membership-related brochures and directories. Hopefully in the coming year, a website designer and a website editor will be added to the Team.
The Communications Team created a centralized email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to which committees and groups are encouraged to submit all announcements and publicity, including attachments. These submittals go to all editors, enabling them to keep the UUCSR website up-to-date and in sync with the newsletter and order of service announcements. The e-list manager receives submittals and sends out those that are intended for the Focus and Announce lists.
The Communications Team is coordinating with the Membership Team to improve introductory materials targeted to new members and visitors. A complete directory of all committees and groups is being compiled that documents each one’s purpose, meeting times and places, contact, etc. This will serve as a resource for the office volunteers, as well as an effective aid for the member integration efforts of the Membership Team.”
The largest, most complicated part of this mandate was making the UUCSR Web site a living expression of the community on the Internet, as well as a single, up-to-date information source for events, governance activities, celebrations, and tools for committees and teams. The site of the time required a programmer to implement updates and new content. The site had therefore become stagnant and out of date, and in need replacement.
Over the next two years, the Communications Team spawned a Web Site Task Force to plan a new site. UUCSR is blessed with a large pool of technical and artistic talent, which was tapped to join the project. A plan emerged, which included the following key aspects:
- Adoption of an “easy-to-use” development tool – WordPress was chosen
- Each committee or team would designate an editor to keep the group’s Web site information up to date
- A team of technology professionals from the congregation would train the editors in the use of WordPress
- The team would modify basic WordPress features for greater ease of use by editors, greater security, and for expansion of publication styles
- The team would migrate all data from the old server to the new server
Web Site Task Force Documents