Communication Guide: Highlighting Key Features
How to Use This Guide
This guide contains general descriptions about key features found in Realm. You may copy and/or modify the descriptions to suit your needs. Some churches post this information online. Others distribute the content in their own printed materials.
- Announcement wording example to introduce Realm to your congregation
- Who can invite people to log in to Realm
- Text to encourage people to download the Realm Connect app
- Links and QR code to use to connect your website to the Realm Connect app
Setting the Stage
Congratulations on your decision to use Realm to support your ministry and connect your church family. We've designed Realm and its companion app, Realm Connect, to make the most of ministry whenever it happens—as your church lives out its faith between the Sundays. But to fully tap into its ministry and life-changing potential, you need your congregants to engage with it. That's where this document can help.
Introduction to Realm
You can't just tell people to go sign in or download something new on their phones without helping them catch the vision. Churches are most successful connecting with their congregation on Realm when they intentionally communicate its goals and purpose. There are many good reasons for people to use Realm, and we've prepared some content to help guide you through the rollout process.
You could say something like:
"Our church is moving to a new kind of record keeping solution called Realm. It primarily serves the administrative needs of our staff, but it also offers some exciting opportunities to support the way you are involved. Not only will this improve work life for our ministry staff, it will make it easier for our church family to connect with each other, keep up with what's going on, and grow as a connected community of believers."
Or, your could summarize it for them:
- We're updating the administrative tools our staff uses to run the daily operations.
- We're adding more ways to communicate, all while leaving current methods in place.
- You determine how much you want to make this part of your experience with our church, but we encourage you to participate."
Inviting People to Realm
Users with permission can email a Realm invite at the same time they first add an individual's information—as long as an email address and phone number are entered.
After a profile is created, users can still send invitations to join Realm, assuming the recipient's email address and phone number are stored.
From recipient's profile page:
From group page invites tab:
Users can also send invitations in mass using a custom query.
For more details, see Inviting People to Realm.
How to Participate
Get the Mobile App
The easiest way people can access Realm is with their mobile device. Although it's not required, it certainly is a popular and convenient way to connect. If your church is signed up for the app-enabled version of Realm, you can encourage people to download the Realm Connect app like this:
- News— Keeps everyone up-to-date with the latest posts, photos, and events for your groups and teams
- Posts— Post messages to your group and comment on posts by others in your group or team
- Photos— Capture your moments together and share them with your group or team
- Events— See event details, submit your RSVP, and sign up to bring something
- Files— Access your group or team's shared files
- Chat— Send your enire group, team, or select individuals, a chat that starts a conversation
- Inbox— Group or team leaders can send an email message to the entire group, team, or select individuals
- Participants— See names and basic profile details for the people in your group or team, based on their privacy preferences
- Notification Settings— Manage your preferences for group and team notifications and emails
Add an iTunes download link to your church website:
HTML: <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/connect-our-church-community/id1052274581? mt=8" style="display:inline-block;overflow:hidden;background:url(//linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/assets/ shared/badges/en-us/appstore-lrg.svg) no-repeat;width:135px;height:40px;backgroundsize:contain;"></a>
Add a Google Play download link to your church website:
HTML: <a href='https://play.google.com/store/apps/details? id=com.acstechnologies.android.realm.engagement&utm_source=global_co&utm_medium=prtnr&utm_c ontent=Mar2515&utm_campaign=PartBadge&pcampaignid=MKT-Other-global-all-co-prtnr-pyPartBadge-Mar2515-1'><img alt='Get it on Google Play' src='hPps://play.google.com/intl/en_us/badges/ images/generic/en_badge_web_generic.png'/></a>
Scannable QR Code
Feel free to share the direct links with the people in your church.
Encourage Everyone to Update their Profile
Consider language like this:
"Everyone in our church gets a unique profile. Your profile contains everything you want people to know about you. Your profile also enables you to join a small group, RSVP to events, track your giving, update your contact information, change family details, set notification preferences, or replace that outdated family photo.
- Contact Information* (e.g. name, address, email, phone)
- Family Members
- Personal Information (e.g. marital status, birthday**, etc.)
- Connected Social Media accounts
**Feel free to enter your full birthday. The year and your age will not be displayed on your church directory profile."
Stimulate Participation in Groups
Suggested: "Groups and classes are an important part of our church, and now you can connect with the people in them throughout the week. You can keep track of upcoming meetings, who's bringing what, and what's going on in each other's lives."
Manage Your Congregants' Giving
Share information like this if your church accepts online or mobile giving through Realm.
"Review your giving history or make new donations online or on your mobile phone. Sign in to look over your year-to-date giving, check pledge progress, print a contribution statement, or make a new one-time or recurring donation. It's always available and kept secure in an online environment.
Ways to Give:
- Check or Cash
- Online Gifts (one-time or recurring)
- Text Giving*
Register for an Event
Set up events that allow online registration through Realm, and explain the advantages this way:
"View upcoming church events and register for the ones you'd like to attend. If an event's registration requires payment, you'll see its cost, any required deposit amount, acceptable forms of payment, and its no-refund date, if applicable. You can also manage your active registrations and see any outstanding balances."
Notes About Privacy
We've discovered that privacy concerns can be an obstacle to getting congregants signed in and using Realm. Convey the following information to put their minds at ease:
- You have complete control over who can see your contact and personal information.
- Contact information is never public or searchable on the Internet. Any information you elect to make visible to your church family is always protected behind a login.
- Authorized users will always have access to your profile information.
- You and certain authorized users may update your profile information. In some cases, your group leader may update your contact information if you have made it visible to group leaders.
- For safety reasons, sharing contact and personal information for children under 18 is limited. Parents determine whether or not to display their child's name in the church directory.
- Children under 13 may not participate and will not be able to sign in.
- Contact information: Name, Address, Phones, and Email.
- Personal Information: Marital Status, Family Position, Member Status, but you also have the option of sharing your birthday, gender, allergy information, and skills with people in your church.
- Everyone— Like a church directory listing, everyone in our church will be able to see whatever profile information is marked as visible to everyone.
- My Groups + Group Leaders + Users with Permission— This setting means information will only be shared with the people you are involved with at church. This is the default setting.
- Group Leaders + Users with Permission— You would use this setting if you wanted to keep some profile information hidden from anyone who is not a group leader or a user with permission to view profiles.
- Users with Permission Only— This setting effectively removes you from the church directory. Your information will only be available to authorized users.**
- Custom Privacy—Choose different privacy levels for specific contact fields and personal information. You can do this in two places: when you edit your profile information or when you manage your privacy settings.***
***The Directory page shows all individuals who have a login, along with individuals without a login who have been opted-in to the directory. Currently, individuals with a login cannot opt out of being listed in the directory.
A family member with a primary position such as "Head" or "Spouse" can change privacy settings for other members of the family and opt family members into the church directory. Birthdays are required for children (as a means to prohibit access), but it's up to you if you want to share the birth date with your church family.
Feel free to post this privacy statement video on your site.
Embed code: <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/176604542" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>
Direct link: https://player.vimeo.com/video/176604542