For: Valley Church

Results: #LoveYouDSM

Discovery

After initial discussions with several of the directors of Valley Church, the conclusion was drawn that the Valley Ministries was experiencing, not necessarily a “communication problem”, but more of an “awareness problem” between the activities of both Valley Church and the Valley Community Center, plus a lack of awareness of the relationship between Valley Church and the Valley Community Center.

Challenges

The obstacles we would need to overcome.
  • To reinforce the relationship between the Valley Community Center and Valley Church.
    • Many guests of the Valley Community Center are not aware of the connection it has with Valley Church.
    • The common misconception is that the Valley Community Center is a taxpayer-funded facility. The Valley Community Center, named after Valley Church, was built in 2012 as a gift to the community of West Des Moines and it’s surrounding areas by the members of Valley Church. But because it has the word “Valley” in its name, it is perceived by most to be a civic building of West Des Moines. It’s as though, it is camouflaged in plain sight, as the name “Valley” is very common in West Des Moines, such as Valley High School, whose football stadium is directly across the street from the Community Center,  as well as the town of Valley Junction, which was the center of West Des Moines until the floods of 93, which forced the move farther west to the area surrounding Valley Church.  Now because of the close proximity to the surrounding civic buildings, as well as the Valley High School Stadium across the street, this causes most people to mistake the Valley Community Center as a taxpayer-funded facility of West Des Moines.
  • Guests of the Valley Community Center are not aware of the many activities that take place within the Valley Community Center.
    • It was said this way, “The people who come on Monday morning to play Pickle-Ball, may not be aware that we had over 1900 people attend the previous weekend for an event like  “Night To Shine,” and visa-versa, the guest who joined us for Night To Shine may not be aware of the many events we offer for them each week, like Pickle Ball.
  • Regular attendees are not aware of the many serving opportunities within the surrounding communities that are provided by the Valley Community Center.
    • Opportunities like “Training Table” – the Valley Community Center has partnered with Quick Trip to help provide 400+ plus meals each week to students within the surrounding areas.
  • Guest of the Valley Community Center are not aware of the partnerships and relationship with outside organizations such as Global Greens.
  • Members of Valley Church are not aware of many of the activities and opportunities provided by the Valley Community Center.

Research

#ForGwinnett

After listening to Jeff Henderson, Lead Pastor Of Gwinnett Church in Gwinnett, Georgia, speak on the Carey Neiwhoff Podcast about the #ForGwinett movement, it struck me of the similarities in what they were doing there at Gwinett Church and what Valley Church has been doing for the past 9 years with the “Love You Des Moines” campaign. Valley has worked hard to establish good will within the community, but I would say that Gwinett had done a better job of marketing and making their ministry more visible.  As an example view the #ForGwinnett hashtag on Instagram. I believe that this visibility within the Love You Des Moines movement would help us overcome the obstacles that we discussed.

Action Plan

  1.  First I went to Gwinnett Church to meet with their staff and explore best practices to launch a hashtag campaign.
  2. We needed to decide on the best hashtag to use that would be clear and represent what it stood for. Using a Facebook Church Communications groups, with over 10,000 members, I launched a survey with multiple options and upon completion, we decided up #LoveYouDSM.
  3. As a team we discussed what the best possible way to explain what the #LoveYouDSM movement stood for and it was decided that – Church can be complicated. At Valley Church we keep it simple. Jesus said it’s all about loving our neighbors. That’s why we say to our community, “we Love You Des Moines!”
  4. It was decided that the best time to launch this hashtag would be during a large serving event held by the Church and Community center over the summer by the same name.  Love You Des Moines
  5. #LoveYouDSM signage is being installed in both the Valley Community Center as well as the main atrium of Valley Church.  The #LoveYouDSM hashtag will create common ground between these two groups.
  6. #LoveYouDSM will provide exposure to both attending groups, Church and Community Center, to all activity and ministry that takes place.
  7. Established using #LoveYouDSM when communicating about the Church and the Community Center within Social Media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Example #LoveYouDSM on Instagram. Although it’s still small, it is growing.
  8. Create Branded items, clothes, coffee mugs, ect. that will help us spread the message of our love for Des Moines.

Moving Forward

  • #LoveYouDSM has been included into all aspects of the Valley ministries.  Each department is responsible for ensuring that their ministry points towards #LoveYouDSM.
  • #LoveYouDSM has been included into the KRA for each department leader and the individual goals set for each ministry.
  • Continued expansion of the branded material will be created to place tools into the hands of those who support and are involved in the Valley Ministries.
  • Continued encouragement to share stories towards #LoveYouDSM.

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