Maurilio Amorim: Social Media, Expectations & Best Practices

Maurilio Amorim: Social Media, Expectations & Best Practices

January 24, 2011 by

We’ve been chatting with the board members of our nonprofit parent, the Center for Church Communication (CFCC). This week we talk with Maurilio Amorim.

Maurilio founded of The A Group, a marketing and technology firm in Brentwood, Tenn., in 2001. You can follow Maurilio on his blog or Twitter.

You’ve been in the church marketing world a lot longer than we have. Is it getting any better?

Maurilio Amorim: Church Marketing is getting more professional, so in a sense things are getting better but the expectations also have risen for the quality of church marketing. The advent of the pre-designed, “put-your-logo-here” packages have helped a lot of churches but it also has elevated the expectation for all churches and created confusion on brand promise. The problem is one of true brand identity and how to communicate that with integrity to the church’s own unique DNA.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen churches do to communicate in the past year?

Maurilio: I love how churches have been in the forefront of the social media revolution. used their Twitter feed during the Nashville flood to mobilize thousands of volunteers. Phone lines were not reliable but text and data got the word out.

How has technology changed the church communications landscape?

Maurilio: Churches have embraced technology faster than ever before because it’s the most cost-effective and dynamic way to reach the world. Churches are now leveraging mobile, text and web technologies often times better than my corporate clients. The downturn in the economy has accelerated the pace in which churches are adopting technology. After all they cannot afford to continue using ineffective communication tools.

What’s one thing churches can do to connect better with people?

Maurilio: If churches understood the power of social media in creating conversations over a wide platform, they would spend more time trying in that space.

What do you see down the road for the Center for Church Communication specifically and church communication in general?

Maurilio: The best thing CFCC can do is help to develop communication best practices for churches. This way churches don’t have to “try” something new and hope it works. Becoming a clearing house for best practices will help churches of all sizes to navigate through the treacherous  waters of religious marketing.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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8 Responses to “Maurilio Amorim: Social Media, Expectations & Best Practices”

  • Marc Aune
    January 24, 2011

    I’m curious to know if it’s really possible to establish communication best practices for churches, since there is such demographic variation among churches across the U.S. For example, since our church is committed to being multi-generational, our communication strategy still involves mail and hard copies in addition to email while other churches targeted at young adults could go completely electronic.

    It’s probably easier than coming up with a “worship best practices,” but communication best practices still might not be that feasible across all Christian churches.

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    • Maurilio Amorim
      January 24, 2011

      Even though churches have different ministry approaches, theology, and other variables, they are still churches: volunteer organizations that rely on human capital to get the job done. We can always segment information based on size, location, model, etc, but at its core a church environment is the same across the board.

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  • Elizabeth R
    January 26, 2011

    Where is Jesus in all this? Marketing? Mobilizing volunteers? Why be conformed to this world and its worldly techniques? Is the Gospel not sufficient to convict and save?

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      January 26, 2011

      Jesus is at the heart of it all, Elizabeth (did you see our tagline at the top of the page?). But you still have to communicate Jesus. And those communication techniques, whether it’s standing on the corner and preaching or mobilizing volunteers as part of a VBS, are what this site is all about.

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  • Jamey Halfast
    January 26, 2011

    @ Elizabeth R: It’s not about substitution of the gospel – it’s utilizing the tools to be more effective in sharing that gospel. A brief runthrough of CMS website would quickly demonstrate that. It’s not enough to preach Sunday morning any more – because it’s no longer expected that people who really need to hear will be there. The whole idea of church marketing is not to build a bigger and better organization, but to reach out to people where they are, and show them that God loves and cares for them, even when they ignore, shun, or even spurn him.

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  • Trees
    January 28, 2011

    Good comments, all of them. At my organization, I’m responsible for creating short-form, video-based, stories of what God is (hopefully) doing through our church. We attempt to share what JESUS is doing through us and why we serve HIM. At the end of the day, whether it’s in front of a live venue, a FB post or Twitter feed, I try to make that the focus.

    Those of us who come from traditional communications/marketing backgrounds, use terms like impressions and click-through rates, etc. These are merely terms of the trade that are used to measure results and the effectiveness of our efforts.

    Though I keep an eye on stats, nothing makes an impression to me like someone saying, “I volunteered to help after watching” or “I forwarded that link to a friend.” I’ve even embedded content on FB that my un-churched friends have viewed. Gasp!

    Media is just a tool. It’s just a tool.

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  • Jeff Goins
    February 1, 2011

    I really enjoyed meeting Maurilio the other week. He has a great heart for people and a good mind for business.

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