Steve Fogg Explains How #cmschat Works

Steve Fogg Explains How #cmschat Works

February 11, 2015 by

We’re excited to kick off our new weekly Twitter chat. The #cmschat will be every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. This week we’ll be talking about preparing for Easter. Steve Fogg had the idea for the chat and is heading up the effort. We asked Steve a few questions about the #cmschat:

You’d be surprised what you can learn in 140 characters. You get the basic insight without the waffle.

A Twitter chat?! How does 140 characters give you enough room to learn anything?

Steve Fogg: I can only speak from experience, but I’ve learned so much from attending the #chsocm chat over the last few years. Having people from different backgrounds and skill sets bring different ideas into a common topic is priceless. You can’t get it at a conference and the people who show up at a Twitter chat usually are ‘in the trenches,’ and whatever they do they know the reality of what works and doesn’t work. Getting that kind of insight for free, who wouldn’t want that?

It was through attending the #choscm Twitter chat that I thought about creating the #cmschat because in the church communication world we don’t have many opportunities to connect regularly in a focused way. In my own humble opinion, I think most of us in the church communication world need others to be speaking into our lives, we need regular peer support and advice. Conferences are complicated and costly to set up and attend. And I don’t know about your training budget but mine isn’t huge, so we have to be innovative to help each other.

You’d be surprised what you can learn in 140 characters. You get the basic insight or comment without the waffle.

So how does this practically work?

Steve: Just get onto your Twitter feed at the right time in your timezone, and search for the hashtag #cmschat. The chat runs for only one hour, and believe me the time flies. The chat is hosted by a moderator (myself and others), and we drive the topical direction of the chat through asking questions. All you have to do is give your opinion. I’m sure you have one!

You can join in the chat in Twitter, or you can use an app like Tweetdeck to follow the hashtag conversation. I find Tweetdeck easier to use as it automagically updates the #hashtag column so I can focus on the chat, without seeing everything else that’s in my feed throughout the hour.

Some people just ‘lurk’ and follow the conversation, others are deeply involved in sharing their thoughts. The brilliant idea about a Twitter chat is that you can still follow even if you are doing something else. There will also be a recap link tweeted out a few hours after each #cmschat so if you are called away for some reason you can scroll back through the highlights.

One of the things I love so much about Twitter chats are the relationships I’ve made. I’ve been able to meet so many people who are all as passionate as I am about serving their church in whatever capacity they are in. Living in Australia means that we don’t have a huge network of church communication pros, and it’s been great to connect via Twitter and chats with others who are as passionate as I am about church communication.

So to recap, simply turn up on Twitter via your platform of choice and comment away on the topic of the day. It’s that simple.

What topics are you going to cover?

Steve: We are going to cover both topical subjects (preparing for Easter anyone?) to very specific niches across all of the creative communication disciplines. Even if you don’t work day-to-day in a particular niche you will get an insight into how others work or develop their strategies. Before working at my church as a communications director, I worked in a PR & marketing firm. The broader exposure to the other areas of specialty have really helped me in my job now, and I know the #cmschat Twitter chat will do the same for anyone working in church communication.

Specifically we’ll cover these broad areas (But not exclusively):

  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Public relations
  • Photography
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Social media
  • Illustration
  • Animation
  • Video
  • Writing

We will also be covering broader topics like self development, self care, preparing for Christmas/Easter and many more. Now if you have a suggestion about what you would like to see us chat about, drop a comment below. We don’t claim to be the experts at what we need to talk about. We’d love to hear from those working in church communication about what we need to chat about.

I can’t stress it enough because we want the chat to be a useful resource: Do you have an opinion about what you think we need to talk about specifically? Comment below.

Doesn’t this already exist with the #chsocm chat? What’s different about this?

Steve: The #chsocm chat is awesome and focuses on using social media for the church. They’ve got that topic covered, though we may from time to time chat about social media. But the #cmschat will be broader and cover the wider range of church communication issues. We’ll have plenty to tweet about and share our ideas without treading the same ground #chsocm does so well.

I encourage everyone to hop on over to the #chsocm chat if you want some great insights on using social media for churches.

Thanks Steve. We’re looking forward to the first #cmschat. Every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. Visit the #cmschat page for more, including an email sign up, sample tweets to share and timezone translation.

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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3 Responses to “Steve Fogg Explains How #cmschat Works”

  • Heidi
    February 13, 2015

    I don’t know much about twitter, although I do have an account. I am the Financial Administrator at our church, but my title also includes technology (which I inherited mostly being the youngest member of the staff @fortysomething – I’m not that young). :)

    I thought twitter was for individuals, but in reading the transcript from last night, it appears that churches can have their own twitter accounts, is that correct? In addition, after reading the first 10 minutes of the conversation, I would think it would be prudent for me to have a “work twitter” account. If I decide to participate in future #cmschat conversations, I can’t imagine my 5 Twitter friends would really want to see that kind of info in their feed.

    Finally, I searched for Tweetdeck on my iphone and did not find such an application. Can you give me more information, perhaps I’m searching incorrectly.

    Thanks in advance for helping a novice!

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      February 14, 2015

      Heidi: Yep, anything can have a Twitter account. People, organizations, companies, imaginary friends. A friend of mine used to run the Puxatawney Phil account.

      How and if you want to separate your personal and professional on Twitter is up to you. Most people I know don’t bother. My professional friends know I have a personal life and personal interest, and vice-versa.

      You can also check out Tweetdeck here:

      I’d also recommend checking out a resource like The Social Media Gospel by Meredith Gould.

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  • Heidi
    February 20, 2015

    Thanks for the follow up. I appreciate the link to tweetdeck, I think it will be very useful!

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