EuroCom Outcomes October 2008

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What is This Document?

These were notes taken at the EuroCom meeting which took place October 2008 in The Netherlands.

NOTE: this represents the ideas of a diverse group of attendees and not all views expressed in this document are necessarily those of EuroCom.

List of attendees:

Jeff Fountain (YWAM European Director), Rob Abraham (ICN), Chris Bischoff (Comm Coord, YWAM Latvia), Bryan Bishop (ICN), Rodney Blevins (EuroCom Coord), Debra Buenting (ICN), Kevin Colyer (Director, YWAM Belgium), Alex Costa, David Couper (Comm. YWAM Harpenden, ICT), Rob Darby (Comm. YWAM Restenas), Colin Forbes (Comm. YWAM Harpenden, ICT), Priscilla Frommann (EuroCom Field Office Team), Rebecca Gibbons (Central Europe Coord), Miranda Heathcote (AfriCom), Steve Keever (Previous EuroCom Coord), Marius Ooms (Comm YWAM Heidebeek), Ruzanna Simoniyan (Eastern Europe/Russia Regional Coord), Daniel Snell (Comm. YWAM Harpenden, ICT), Mike Stevens (Base Dir., YWAM Dalarna Sweden)

Who Are We?

Working definition: Network of communicators in Europe to serve the mission's communications needs involving core teams and network.
Keywords: Help YWAMers network; strategic communication planning; story telling; equipping for IT and webdesign; offer communication training (BCW); ...
Web hosting and providing practical tools to help YWAMers communicate.
Coordinator: Rodney Blevins will make sure that the communicators stay connected (regional communication coordinators and virtual team), he's a link to the field leader, and also a link to the ICN

Outcome Workgroups October 2008 Meeting

For each group: What are the main findings of the workgroup? Is there a to-do list that you came up with? Who will push the group to perform? Who will monitor performance and outcomes (the contact person together with EuroCom coordinator?)? In what time frame?

Workgroup 1: it Missions School and Training in General

Findings: BWC in Russia/Perim (1credit point UofN). Survey revealed that there is a need for web designers. Finances is an issue, need for perception change in ministry in IT world
To do: prepare a BWC in Russia together with Rob, ...
Contact person (and contact details): Chris
Time frame:
Colin Forbes' survey to all locations revealed that Eastern Europe
has the highest need for web designers among all regions in Europe.

  • Schools/seminars for web designers.
  • Finances.
  • Action plan to call on skilled communicators.
  • Need more basic comm. workshops.
  • Train communicators to learn how to help others identify their communications needs.
  • Multiplication of communicators (hopefully achieved at workshops).
  • Find the tools that will empower people to communicate effectively.

Rob Darby's proposal:

  • Ruzanna Simonyan to coordinate the first Basic Communications Workshop before one year is up (i.e. before Oct. 2009).
  • possibly combine a BCW for a couple of regions (i.e. Central Europe & Eastern Europe/Russia).

results from a survey about IT needs...
9 q's:
web designer - highest need / finances / computer repair staff / gen. staff / software / hardware / net admin / better connection / web developers - lowest need, but still rather high.

Need an action plan to call for those skilled communicators.

Training: What are the basics?

  • How to google.
  • How to troubleshoot your computer.
  • How to find answers on ywam websites (i.e. ywamkb).
  • Writing emails, raising support.
  • Many things that would be specific to where you are.

  • Have at least one leader or coordinator attending the workshop, then they can really understand their needs.
  • Plan workshops around leadership meetings, so the leaders can more easily attend.
  • Setup is important: supplies... usually level of what is known is a lot less than what we think, technical compatibility issues.

Workshop Levels:

  • Beginner's IT, newsletter writing.
  • Focus on the value of communications.
  • Certain aspects that are core, but with some optional extras.
  • Day long? Two days?
  • Checklist of what is there & what is needed (matrix could help this).

Do some test workshops & debrief after, then maybe some people can understand how they can be involved.

2-3 people from EuroCom core to go to i.e. Milan then Spain, Portugal, etc. can be a part & then a guy from Italy who's a photographer can come in & help if one of the core people can't be there.

Multiplication must be kept in mind with these workshops.

Add short teachers into a resource base, i.e.

  • Give 1-2 hrs. per month to create a short teaching as a how-to, compiling & building.

Keep the proper perspective on technology (i.e. GENESIS)
Honor & encourage those that are already doing things
Have fun with the training!!

Marius' daughter - purpose of comm. is to talk to each other... so that you learn to talk... so that you know each other's names so you can talk to other... encouraged her to keep doing what she's doing & thinking.

Do it Mission Impossible style... bring in the key people in to do the job.

  • Create a list of those people who are using the technology.
  • Create some skins/templates that can be available.
  • Create checklists... have we invited those in "that location" to join one of the EuroCom team.

What are the needs?

  • Many YWAM'ers in Russia have access to computers & have opp. to blog...
  • Need for the BCW.
  • Must plant the value of comm.... tool doesn't matter... you need to understand why you're using it.

Need a coordinator of those who can go & train.

Workshops will equip the person, not necessarily the base.

  • What are we imparting? fundamental changes for the base or for the missionary?
  • Put something in place that will foster multiplication.

... by training the person, you're ultimately training the base.

Workgroup 2: Eurocom Structure and Networks

Field Office Team (Core Team) - keeps the business going, forward movement, on-going facilitators, resource group, "fulltime", one physical location. Need for some key skills in this team; virtual members okay.

Good to have a...
- Convener - networker, some IT savvy, Link to Field Leader 
- Team Builder - connection with virtual team and networks 
- Editorial type person 
- Network Facilitator - Bridge builder: Writer / Designer / IT / Photographer / Video / Web / Programmer 

2. Field Virtual Team - Regional coordinators and facilitators 
Regions not just building the region but also the whole 

3. Networks - communicators, professionals 
Adrian Coates - resource for who there is in Europe.

Contact person: Rodney Blevins
Time frame: ongoing thing
Monitor: Field leader (Jeff Fountain) and ICN.

Workgroup 3: Communicating Values and Valuing Communication

Findings: people are feeling to belong to something when they receive the YWAM values card. Values are a part of the identity. Communication is not communications. Communications is a ministry, not only an industry. You can't tell people what to do, you have to wait until they see the need. And they don't see the need unless they don't see it work somewhere else.

What we could do:
produce translated values-zigzag,
everyone in the EuroCom team get involved in facilitating the GlobalPrayerDay November, Jeff writing a letter to everyone with 5 proposals what to do: 1) send a postcard to another base in another country, 2) gather with another base in prayer through GENESIS, 3)...., 5) give feedback to Robert Itzin/prayer day email address
promote and complete ,
help dts to take photos and write stories and put them on the wikisite (take advantage of dts groups, turn them into hobby journalists) => communication module at UniQuip (dts students and staff need to know that they're part of a great big mission) help students to communicate even better with family, churches, them connect
tell the ywam base in your outreach country that you come with your team,

Time frame: Global prayer day 6th November

Workgroup 4: Good Practices and Transference Guidelines

Findings: There are a lot of good practices in the area of communication, let's try to gather these good ideas that bases came up with and make them available to other bases.
For example:
Denver Video Podcast 
Herrnhut Youtube videos 
Reef to Outback - Intranet, every student has own page 
RtO - Professional-looking info packet 
Harpenden: Sugar CRM - for school applicants, event registration, surveys 
Image Bank of photos from DTS students outreach, give a short tutorial, collect after they come back 
Google Docs for telephone list.

To do:
1. Start with email experiment;
write email to addresses we find on the base websites to ask for information. After 3 weeks evaluate how accurate and fast responses were given. This helps us to get a glimpse on the state of the art of email communication of the different European bases. Inform national leadership first, and give them the statistics together with the offer to hold a BCW in their country or something like that.
2. Call bases and ask about their good ideas and practices and needs in the area of communication. Maybe already help by indicating good practices of other bases. Find out what they have to offer and who could be a contact person for communication to strengthen the network of EuroCom. If base doesn't pick up the phone, complete statistics and go back to national/regional leadership.
3. Gather good practices and make them available: online, through BCWs, base consultation when requested...

Also: gather other good info on comm. principles, planning, tools to be used by new bases, new teams, new staff. Ex. Iceland team was very interested in receiving a briefing on communication; Kevin Colyer wants us to network with NewTeamsNetworks.
Contact person: Priscilla
Time frame: Until next EuroCom meeting
Monitor: Bryan?

Help! I (Priscilla) can start doing Western and Northern Europe. It would be great to have someone doing Central and Eastern Europe. You would go on the websites and gather email addresses and phone numbers you find on the websites of the bases. After the email experiment you would call these bases and gather their data (needs, good practices, contact person) in the same database. David Couper will help setting it up using Sugar CRM.

Workgroup 5: Applying the Matrix

The name matrix is confusing in light of a leadership model in YWAM - rename to Communication Strategy Assessment Toolkit (CSAT) (proposal Priscilla: Just Communication Strategy Toolkit)

Where has it been presented in Europe? 
Presented to the Western European Leadership Team in March 2008 
Presented to CELG 2008 

The strategy has been trickle-down (top down).  Should we also start at the base level now? 

Training or marketing that we need to come up with for the promotion of the CSAT?  How does that tie into the Value Communication campaign? 

Example: It's been done here at Heidebeek how can that be multiplied? 
Develop a national one-day seminar with the bases and transnationals and walk them through it. 
Give resources/websites on how to use it. 

Feedback from Heidebeek on using the CSAT: 
Was it easy to use? 
Do you know what do now? 

Monitoring - how do we know if we've done it? 
FOT compiles a list of who has or hasn't gone through the CSAT. 

Action plans: 
Rodney should sit down with the regional coordinators and the regional leaders to help walk them through it. 

What: Film Jeff explaining the CSAT 
When: Today (23/Oct) 

What: Film Jeff explaining the new EuroCom structure 
When: Today (23/Oct) 

What: Monitor who got it and what the progress is 
Who: Priscilla? 
When: In the next four months?

Workgroup 6: Leadership and Communication

  • Leaders need understanding.
  • They don't value communication, but they need to.

Why don't they understand?

  • Part of our culture.
  • DNA.
  • Change in technology.
  • Need to adapt.
  • They are in a new generation that has different communication needs.
  • They are overworked and/or have poor management.
  • Language issues.
  • Spiritual warfare.
  • Not connected.
  • Communication is just a peripheral to them.

Possible solutions:

  • Give them creative solutions.
  • Give them small, manageable tools.
  • Personal touch.
  • Send an email*

  • This email would basically be sent to the base leadership and let them know that as leaders that often are called to manage but lack the skills and resources to manage well and then include some links and ideas and so on...
  • Print out simple guidelines.
  • Make book marks or something to hand out like a campaign.
  • Raise this topic at leadership schools.
  • focus a but more on interpersonal communication.
  • "Demand" a presence of a communicator at every leadership gathering.
  • Communication must have a part in every leader's gathering (base, national, regional and field).
  • Maybe create Rob Bell LIKE videos on communication and management (take this idea to CRIT as a project for them).
  • Visual Campaign.

We need to track with one another on initiatives that we are doing, we need to make sure that we are filling out the monthly updates.

CREATE Leaders section on Value Communication Site!!!

Who: Rob Darby and Ruzanna are going to send information to
Rob will also work on a promotional piece to get people drawn in and to get their attention. Maybe a postcard to send to each leader - and then also given to their staff.
We want to give leaders a reason to value communication and understand it.

Rodney and EuroCom people should go to Berlin, Germany for the European Leadership Forum Feb.2009.
Each Leader should have a communicator.... we need (Jeff needs) to remind them of their commitment and come to Berlin with their communicator.
At that time we can give more training and meet all together again!

Big questions:
How do we demystify Leadership teams to the staff? Communication!