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Apostles Styles & Procedures


Communications Post Style Guide

for Feed, Bulletin, and Newsletter items.


Procedures and Deadlines

Most items submitted will be displayed on the Apostles Feed, the bulletin, and the newsletter. There are some cases where something may only be displayed in either the newsletter, or the bulletin. Those cases are primarily limited to third party events, missionary newsletters, or other material that either has sensitive material or content that does not need to be broadcasted as publicly.

Please read the following guidelines and examples prior to submitting your items. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email Daniel Bonner at communications@churchoftheapostles.org.


Feed Posts

Feed posts contain these five main items:

  1. Title
  2. Excerpt
  3. Essential Information (dates, times, locations)
  4. Body
  5. Call to Action

1. Title:

The title of your feed post should be a descriptive phrase that gives an accurate and easily understood description of your post. Your title should be no more than 35 characters. Titles that exceed 35 characters in length may be subject to shortening.

2. Excerpt:

The excerpt of your post is what will display underneath the title of your post on the Apostles Feed when looking at the grid of posts. Excerpts should contain either essential information (dates, times, locations) about your post, or a brief description of your post. For events, excerpts must contain the abbreviated date and time of your event, as well as the location. Following the essential information for your event, you may also add a single sentence description if you would like. If you are not posting about an event, you can just add a short description of your post. 

There is no character limit to the essential information, but the essential information should follow the format exactly and should not have extra information. On the other hand, the description cannot exceed 85 character. Excerpt descriptions that exceed 85 character may be subject to shortening. Follow this format for the essential information:

Day., Mon. DD at/from (start time)-(end time)am/pm
At the Office & Community Center/Worship Location/Other

Examples:

(for Altared)
Sun., Jan. 1 from 6-8:15pm
At the Worship Location

(for mid-week Eucharist)
Weds at 12pm
At the Office & Community Center

3. Essential Information:

The essential information of your post is what will display at the very top of your post after clicking to read the entire post in larger text. It must contain the unabbreviated date, time, and location in the following format:

(Day-of-the-Week), (Month) (DD), (YYYY) at/from (start time)-(end time)am/pm
At the Pender Dr. Office & Community Center/Vale Rd. Worship Location/Other
(Other information is needed e.g. registration cost and deadline)

It is important to have this information there as some people do not actually read entire posts, but only skim and try to find the where's and when's. The essential information that appears at the top of your posts is different than the excerpt. Again, this information should not be abbreviated. There is no character limit for this section, however it should contain nothing extra other than what is seen above

Examples:

(for Altared)
Sunday, January 1, 2025 from 6:00-8:15pm
At the Vale Rd. Worship Location

(for mid-week Eucharist)
Wednesdays at 12:00pm
At the Pender Dr. Office & Community Center in the Chapel

(for a class or event)
Sunday, January 1, 2025 from 12:00-2:00pm
At the Vale Rd. Worship Location in the Hearthstone Room
Cost is $15. Register by October 10, 2016.

4. Body:

The body of your post is a full write up on all of the details of what you want to communicate to the congregation as well as anyone who may stumble over your post. The structure for this section is much more free than the other sections, but here are some guidelines to follow while you write up the body:

Guidelines for the Body of your post

  • Think about your audience. Remember that they don't want to spend a large amount of time reading. Write in clear, easily understood terms that don't drag on. Thoroughly convey your information while being to the point.
  • Don't use "christianese" lingo that only other christians will understand. We want to be welcoming to those who are new to faith or new to Apostles. Take a step back from what you write and make sure that it will make sense to someone who may not know what the it means to be "washed by the blood" is or what the "Body of Christ" is.
  • Have important information near the beginning. Again, people don't always read through long posts, so put important information at the beginning... or just keep your posts short enough to read through quickly.
  • Avoid putting personal information in your post. Everything that is in your post is online and accessible to anyone in the world. Personal addresses, phone numbers, or emails should be saved for the bulletin or the newsletter, unless the person who's information it is has expressed explicit permission to post the information on the website. You can always point people to the church office phone (703-591-1974) for them to access further information.

5. Call to Action

The call to action should be the next step that the viewer should take. This can be either contacting someone for more information, signing up or registering, donating items or money somewhere, or anything else someone might need to do to get plugged in/involved in whatever your post is about. There is no limit to this section either, but it should be no more than a few lines. If you would like to embed a sign-up/registration form in your blog post, make a note at the bottom of your post submission below with a list whatever information you would like to collect in your form.

Examples:

Contact John Doe for more information at johndoe@example.com or at (555) 555-5555.

Contact the Church Office for more information at (703) 591-1974.

Please bring donations to either Sunday service for collection after the service in the lobby.

Register for the event below by January 1, 2025. Cost is $15 and provides lunch and a workbook.


Newsletter Items

Newsletter items contain these three items:

  1. Title
  2. Essential Information (dates, times, locations)
  3. Description

1. Title:

The title of your newsletter item should be exactly the same as your Feed post title and your bulletin item title. It should be a descriptive phrase that gives an accurate and easily understood description of your post. Your title should be no more than 35 characters. Titles that exceed 35 characters in length may be subject to shortening.

2. Essential Information:

The essential information of your newsletter item will be the first sentence in the entry. The essential information sections on the newsletter and the bulletin are identical, so you may copy and paste that text in the form to both of those sections. Follow the format below to create your essential information section

NOTE: Since the newsletter is not publicly accessible (it is only available to subscribers of the Apostles News) you may include more personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, and emails. Personal information in the newsletter should still have explicit permission from whoever the information belongs to, but they can rest assures that it will not be searchable to our website or on the public web.

3. Description:

 


Bulletin Items

Newsletter items contain these three items:

  1. Title
  2. Essential Information (dates, times, locations)
  3. Short Description

1. Title:

The title of your bulletin item should be exactly the same as your Feed post title and your newsletter item title. It should be a descriptive phrase that gives an accurate and easily understood description of your post. Your title should be no more than 35 characters. Titles that exceed 35 characters in length may be subject to shortening.

2. Essential Information:

 

3. Short Description: