The State of Church Bulletins

The State of Church Bulletins 2020

2020 was our second annual State of the Bulletin communication survey. We expanded our questions to cover all the different ways church leaders communicate with their congregations. Check out the responses below.

Which do you regularly use to communicate with your congregation?

Social Media Posts
93%
Emails
88%
Website
86%
Print Bulletins
46%
Digital Bulletins
46%
Text Messages
39%
Mobile App
25%

Which (if any) have you tried in the past but have stopped using regularly?

Print Bulletins
55%
Mobile App
16%
Digital Bulletins
11%
Text Messages
10%
Website
7%
Social Media Posts
6%
Emails
4%

Oh no! The traditional church bulletin! With only 46% of our respondants printing bulletins and 55% having stopped - it looks like it's on it's way out. Maybe it is a COVID-19 change? We asked.

Have you stopped producing a printed bulletin because of health concerns regarding COVID-19?

Yes
63%
No
37%

What other COVID-19 changes have happened? How about live-streaming?

Live Streaming

Do you live stream your services?

Yes
88%
No
12%

Did you live stream your services prior to COVID-19?

Yes
49%
No
51%

So a vast majority of churchs represented live-stream and only half of those were doing it prior to 2020. We'll see how many stick with it in 2021.

Social Media

Which social media channels do you actively use?

Facebook
99%
Instagram
67%
Twitter
26%
Other
2%

One note on the 99% of churches using Facebook. This number is skewed upwards because our distribution lists were mostly gathered via Facebook interactions. With that said, this number is mind-blowing to me.

How often do you post on social media?

Multiple times per week
79%
Once a week
16%
Once per month
4%
Once per year
1%

Who manages your church’s social media channels?

Facebook
99%
Instagram
67%
Twitter
26%
Other
2%

Does your church have a clear social media strategy?

Yes
38%
No
62%

Digital Bulletins

How often do you produce an digital bulletin?

Weekly
51%
Never
43%
Other
6%

How is your digital bulletin distributed?

Email
51%
Website
49%
Social Media
24%
Text Message
20%
An App
19%

Keen observers will see a total of 163% for this question - this is because multiple selections were allowed for this question.

How long does it take each week to create?

Less than 30 minutes
36%
More than an hour
23%
About an hour
21%
Less than an hour
20%

What have we learned this year?

This year forced a lot of churches to move to more digital forms of communication. This has been a trend but the COVID-19 pandemic certainly accelerated it. This was most clearly seen in our results regarding live-streaming services.

The printed bulletin has been hit the hardest and the comments along with the responses show that some people are very happy about this and others miss it.

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