It can be hard for modern churches to stay engaged in their communities, especially as the culture surrounding our society continues to change. Too often, churches retreat into their own bubble - interacting only with other churches and their own congregations, and leaving the communities in which they're located totally out in the cold.
Church leaders have a responsibility - a duty! - to share themselves and the word of God with those around them. And in this article, we'll take a look at 7 simple ways to do so.
1. Community Events
Lots of churches have events that are hosted on their grounds for their congregations - events such as 4th of July parties and other celebrations - but these events shouldn't just be for church members. Next time your church is having a celebration like a cookout or a party, consider opening it up to the rest of the community.
Post signs around the church neighborhood and tack up posters to telephone poles and shop windows. Post about the church event on Facebook and "share" it with friends - do whatever it takes to get the word out.
The church doesn't have to push an agenda at these events. You're not trying to convert community members - you're simply looking to show them how God acts through the church, and be an example of his grace.
You'll be surprised at the community reactions you'll see when you do so - being honest, open, and allowing all to come to your events can create quite a bit of good will, and spur some folks into learning more about your church, and your beliefs.[click to continue...]
If you live in the United States, spring has sprung, and summer is well on its way. And if you live on the east coast of the United States, that means hurricane season is almost here. Typically recognized as running from June 1 - November 30 in the United States, the peak of Atlantic hurricane season is usually around September 10th of each year.
Approximately 10 storms develop into "named storms" each year - these storms are seen as being significant enough to merit naming by the NOAA. Of these storms, around 6 become hurricanes each year, and around 2.5 become “major” hurricanes of category 3 or greater. Most of these hurricanes are relatively harmless and end up dispersing before doing significant damage.
But every once in awhile, weather conditions are perfect for creating devastating storms that swell in size, intensity, and speed. These storms represent a serious danger to both people and property, and usually require emergency evacuation procedures.
In order to give you an idea of the size, intensity, and damage caused by these storms, we'll take a look at the top 11 most powerful Atlantic hurricanes of all time, and how they have affected the United States over the years.
NOTE: As per NOAA guidelines, these storms have been arranged by pressure - from lowest to highest. While storms are often ranked by wind speed alone, the NOAA prefers to rank storms by pressure.
11. Hurricane Ivan (2004)
Hurricane Ivan was the ninth named storm and the sixth hurricane to occur during the relatively active 2004 hurricane season. The storm system began forming in early September, around the peak of oceanic activity for the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane Ivan began to form September 2, 2004, southwest of Cape Verde. The system began moving west, and began to strengthen gradually. It became classified as a tropical storm by September 3, 2004, and by September 5, it had reached hurricane status.
By September 9, winds in the hurricane had intensified to 160 mph, as it passed around Jamaica and headed westward towards the United States. Peak strength was reached on September 12, 2004, when the hurricane passed through the Yucatán Channel.
The storm then began to weaken slightly to category 4 strength before making landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States. In Louisiana and Mississippi, thousands of Americans were evacuated. In Florida, thousands of homes were destroyed, and multiple bridges were heavily damaged by the high winds of Hurricane Ivan.
According to the NOAA, Hurricane Ivan is the 6th costliest hurricane to make landfall in the United States, with damages at $22.8 billion, adjusted for inflation.
10. Hurricane "Cuba" (1924)
Measured before the NOAA began naming storms, Hurricane Cuba is the earliest hurricane to be classified as a category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and its low pressure of 910 hPa places it at tenth on our list of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes.
This hurricane formed on October 141924 in the Caribbean, and began picking up steam as it moved in a northwesterly direction. By October 16, it had officially attained hurricane status.
By October 18, the hurricane had peaked at an intensity of 910 hPa, and sustained winds of over 165 mph. Almost immediately after the hurricane hit peak strength, it made contact with Cuba. To this day, it is the most powerful hurricane to have ever hit the country.
After moving past Cuba, the hurricane weakened quite a bit, reaching Florida with peak winds of around 90mph. Despite the catastrophic damage done to Cuba, Florida was relatively unaffected. There were no reported fatalities, though heavy rainfall occurred all throughout the state.[click to continue...]
Video Transcript - What Is A Phone Tree? - A Comprehensive Guide To Phone Tree Systems
Below we have the transcript for our Phone Tree Systems video - each slide has been broken apart, click on the image to view the original slide.
Slide One - Introduction
Hello everyone, today we are going to take an in-depth look at phone tree systems. What is a phone tree? How do phone trees work? Who Uses Phone Trees? All of these questions and more will be answered in this video.
Slide Two - Phone Tree Systems Overview
Phone Tree Systems are split up into two different categories, Traditional Phone Trees and Automated Phone Trees - today you'll learn what a traditional phone tree is, if they are still in use and how phone tree templates work. You'll also be learning about voice broadcasting systems, the benefits of phone tree automation and who exactly uses them.[click to continue...]
SMS marketing is, to put it lightly, a revolution in the world of marketing, especially for restaurant owners. The numbers behind SMS marketing are staggering. Over 98% of all SMS messages are opened, and a vast majority of these messages are opened within minutes of receipt. In addition, 44% of all people have opted into at least 1 SMS campaign - so it's clear that consumers are willing to share their phone number if they trust a business with their information.
Compare this to email, which usually hovers around a 25% open rate, and the benefits are clear. SMS messaging offers a way that companies can get in touch with their customers immediately and effectively - making it absolutely indispensable for restaurant owners.
Setting up an SMS messaging campaign can be quite easy too - modern tools like DialMyCalls feature an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to organize your contacts, lists of phone numbers, and custom messages.
So if you're a restaurant owner looking to take your business to the next level, read on - and see 5 ways that you can take advantage of advanced SMS marketing from DialMyCalls.
1. Send Lunch Specials
One of the biggest challenges facing restaurants is impulsivity - most people don't really think ahead about where they want to go to lunch. When lunchtime rolls around, they'll just do a quick poll of their coworkers, or head to one of their regular spots. There's not usually a whole lot of thought or consideration involved - and if they don't remember your restaurant, they just won't go there.
However, if you send out specialized, custom lunch specials with coupons to your loyal customers at lunchtime, they're much more likely to remember your restaurant - and take advantage of the special offer.
The more a person eats at your restaurant, the more likely they are to come back - so sending lunchtime reminders and special discounts is a fantastic way to build up your customer base.
2. Promote Special Events and Offers to Regulars
People like to feel special - that's just a fact. And if you have a list of regulars at your restaurant - people who have been eating at your establishment weekly or daily for long periods of time - you should consider rewarding them! They'll love you for it, and they'll spread the word about your restaurant to your friends.
Using DialMyCalls, you can set up a specialized list of your most valuable customers, and send them promotions and special offers. You can offer them discounts on their favorite dishes, or rewards for bringing friends to your restaurant.
Whatever your offer may be, make sure they realize that it's exclusive - and that normal, everyday customers don't get these same offers. This will increase brand loyalty, and make your best customers feel more valued.[click to continue...]
Voice broadcasting is an effective method of communicating with multitudes of people at one time. This is a must-have system for a business, especially one that regularly needs to send messages to their customers, leads, employees, and various vendors. Once you have this system in place, you will wonder how you ever functioned without it.
Voice messaging enables a higher response rate than using direct mail, yet it is as fast and inexpensive as sending emails. Additionally, it can be used to serve various purposes inside of your business by creating a new bridge of communication.
The benefits of voice broadcasting are vast, they cover all aspects of your business needs, from enticing new customers to maintaining a sufficient stock of goods. You will find this is an innovative method of growing your business.
1) Easy to Implement
There is nothing complicated about initiating a voice broadcasting system for your business. Choose a provider that operates online and you will not be obligated to add any software or hardware to your existing computer. Once you have created your account you will only need to add your contacts. After it has been set up, sending a message is as easy as logging in, recording your message and choosing the recipients.[click to continue...]
Running a business effectively can be very difficult. If your organization is large, chances are that your employees won’t always have the opportunities that they need to express their opinions, concerns, complaints, and new ideas regarding your organization.
This is an unfortunate consequence of growth – as the size and the complexity of a company increases, it becomes more difficult to establish effective lines of communication through which lower-ranking employees can contact managers, executives, and other people who control corporate decision-making and policy.
Even in smaller companies, employees often don’t feel comfortable talking to their superiors about problems they may have with other employees, customers, or their work environment. Often, an employee will be afraid of being punished by a superior for bringing problems to their attention – even if the information they have could be important and helpful.
Some companies use email to allow their employees to report issues to HR or to other relevant persons, but this can be lacking in anonymity – people don’t like being identified when they are reporting information of a sensitive nature, especially if it is related to specific employees or corporate misconduct.
Anonymous employee complaint hotlines are a great solution to these issues. You can grant your employees total anonymity, allow them to speak about what’s on their mind with no fear of punishment, and gain valuable insight into the overall health of your organization.
For all of these reasons, setting up an employee complaint hotline with DialMyCalls can be extremely valuable. Doing so allows you to get a better understanding of the work conditions of your average employee, listen to their complaints, and aid you as you strive to make your business a better place to work.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to set up an anonymous inbound complaint line for your employees.
Setting up Your Anonymous Employee Complaint Hotline
Begin by setting up an account with DialMyCalls and then register a vanity number for your complaint line. Ideally, this will be a number that's easy for employees to identify and remember so that they can call in whenever necessary.
You must have access to a phone with this number, as it will be called by our automated system to complete setup. A four-digit PIN will be read to you, and after you enter it into your DialMyCalls system, you'll be able to use it as a caller ID for your messages and broadcasts.[click to continue...]
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