Communications at CAA

Congregation Agudas Achim Communication Guidelines

Communication Guidelines

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Communication Matrix


Planning for Communications
 
Communications allow CAA committees to connect with congregants and the outside community.  Unfortunately, communications are often an afterthought and created just in time for an event.  In order to most effectively communicate, each committee should appoint a committee member to be responsible for communications. 
 
This person should be proactive with communications to generate interest and involvement in upcoming events well in advance of the actual date.  In addition, s/he should plan for how to update the congregation on the committee’s activities.  It is recommended that the person responsible for communications create a communications plan for the committee; this plan should include information such as communications goals, vehicles, messages, audience, and timing.  Since many communication vehicles use electronic submissions, the person responsible for communications should be someone who has access to and is comfortable using e-mail and the Internet.
 
Refer to the Communication Matrix (file attachment) for all listing of communication vehicles and related information: CAA internal communications

In addition, the CAA website is a resource with communication-related information and general information about the synagogue that can assist committees in their planning efforts (for example, the CAA calendar).  The website address is
www.caa-austin.org.

***Please be advised information in the Shabbat program is subject to space limitations. Information in the E-bulletin will run for two weeks.***
 
Communications on Shabbat

  • Shabbat is a day of rest, and CAA committee work is no exception; therefore CAA business should not be conducted on Shabbat.  This includes sending e-mails, making telephone calls, and discussing CAA business at Shabbat services.

 
Creating Communications

Utilize the following checklist when creating communication submissions.  To prevent duplication, assign the communication item to one person (typically the committee’s communications person).

 
Create the communication

  • If publicizing an event, review the CAA calendar of events located on the CAA website to confirm the event doesn’t conflict with another event.


Determine the communication vehicle

  • Review the Communication Matrix to determine which vehicles to submit the communication and during what timeframe (for example, if it’s a monthly publication, during which month the communication should appear).
  • Make sure that the communication follows any guidelines for the vehicle to which the communication is being submitted (such as format, length, etc.)


Determine the timing of the communication

  • Confirm the deadlines for submission of your item (see the Communication Matrix). These dates are fixed and must be honored to facilitate the publication of an item in a timely manner.


Confirm that your notice provides adequate advance time for the event.
 

  • For CAA published communications, submit a draft as a space holder if you are running late with your publication.  (Submitters cannot merely request to “save half a page.”)  Every time a publication is late, it costs CAA money and time and affects the quality of the final product.


Have the communication reviewed

  • Have the item reviewed by a second committee member for accuracy, appropriateness, legibility, grammar, and graphics.  Confirm that the communication supports the CAA privacy policy (to be developed).


Submit the communication

  • Staff will determine what pictures will be used depending on space. If there is a question a member of staff will contact you.

Save the communication

  • Once the communication has been submitted, it’s important to keep a copy of the communication so that it can be used as a reference or sample for future communications.  For example, if the communication is publicity for an annual event, the communication can be used as a starting point for next year’s communication. 

Gather feedback

  • It is important to gather feedback on the effectiveness of the communication in order to improve future communications and determine if any follow-up communication is needed.  There are many ways to obtain feedback, including meetings, surveys, and a feedback link on the CAA website.

 
Communication Etiquette

  • It is a good practice to follow up with thank you notes to volunteers who helped plan and publicize the event.  Most CAA events are put on by volunteers, and while they do it for the love of the congregation, a little recognition never hurt anyone.


Ongoing Communications

  • CAA committees are always growing and bringing in new members.  Just as we pass down our Jewish history from generation to generation, it’s important to share information about our congregation and committees with the next generation of committee members. 
  • In order to pass down important information to new and future committee members, each committee should have a summary document that describes the purpose and activities of the committee, any procedures and planning activities for recurring events. 
  • Currently there is information about many standing committees in the CAA bylaws, but including this essential information in a summary document that is shared with new committee members makes it much more accessible.
  • Standings committees aren’t the only groups that have a need to share information with those who may be involved in the future.  CAA has several “projects” – made up of people who volunteer to work on a certain activity – that happen every year.  Congregants who work on such “projects” (for example, the Spring Fling) should create a checklist or “how to” document to pass onto those who will work on that project in the following years.

 
External Communications

One of the communication goals of CAA is to have a consistent look, feel, and message to the outside world.  With all of the activities of our numerous committees, there is a need to coordinate our communication efforts.  With that goal in mind, the Board of Directors approved the following policy regarding external communications:
 

  • Any communication about CAA or CAA events that is submitted to a communication vehicle external to CAA must first be submitted to the CAA Communications Coordinator.  External communication vehicles are ones not produced by CAA, including Jewish community and Austin community newspapers, electronic newsletters, radio, television, etc.  The CAA Communications Coordinator will review the submission against the External Communication Guidelines. 
  • Submissions should be provided to the CAA Communications Coordinator at least two full business days prior to the vehicle’s submission deadline.  If the same communication will be submitted to multiple vehicles, it only requires one review prior to the first submission, along with a list of the planned vehicles and dates.
     
  • To submit an external communication to the CAA Communications Coordinator, send an e-mail with the communication attached to webmaster@caa-austin.org.  If changes are necessary, the CAA Communications Coordinator will coordinate with the submitter to make the appropriate updates.

Internal and External Communication Guidelines

Congregation Agudas Achim (CAA) submissions to external vehicles must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Aligns with CAA political advocacy policy (when available)
  • Aligns with CAA privacy policy (when available)
  • States WHO is sponsoring the event
  • States WHAT the event is
  • States WHEN the event will be held (date and time)
  • States WHERE the event will take place (venue and address)
  • Provides a means of contact (eg, telephone number, e-mail) and the contact person is aware of and approves use of their name
  • Include CAA website address
  • Contains the CAA logo (or committee logo that includes CAA)
  • Spells out “Congregation Agudas Achim” in the first reference
  • Uses first and last names in the first reference to a person
  • No spelling/grammar errors
  • Provides the cost of the event, even if it is free
  • Generally accurate and readable
  • Event is on the CAA calendar
  • Consistent with other CAA submissions
     

Weekly E-Bulletin and Shabbat Program e-submit form

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Communication Matrix

 

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