a new endeavor: “coaching” social media

I am excited to embark on a new adventure working as a “coach” for Social Phonics…the social media brainchild of Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt.

I have known both guys for a number of years and was thrilled to see them branch out and create an organization to assist the church in its mission by “training pastor, ministry leaders, and non-profit leaders in the use of social media.”

Here is a brief blurb about the organization from the website Socialphonics.com

“Social Phonics, a division of JoPa Productions, is the premier organization training pastors, ministry leaders, and non-profit leaders in the use of social media.  Through our Social Phonics Boot Camps, Social Phonics Summer Camp, and our certified Social Phonics Coaches, we provide hands-on training that immediately empowers leaders to harness the power of social media.

We are convinced of the incredible power that social media have to connect people to one another and to churches, ministries, and organizations.  And we are committed to staying on top of the latest developments in social media so that we can keep you and your organization up-to-date.”

I have been an advocate of all forms of social media and networking for a while.  Though no “expert” by any definition, I have both personally and professionally seen the impact and influence from effectively utilizing these online tools.  My own church and youth ministry has benefited with more public exposure and community connectivity through social mediums such as Twitter, Google, Yelp, and Facebook.

Personally, this here blog of mine has led to teaching classes, traveling and training youth workers, speaking engagements, and a book contract.

You know that old adage from that hair growth company “I’m not only the president…I’m also a client”?

I am proud and honored to be a “coach”, simply because I really do believe in the power of social media and the ability of all church people (paid and volunteers) to leverage the influence of the internet for the greater good of God’s kingdom work.


I have included the announcement about the new coaching program:

About our Coaches

Here at Social Phonics, we’re thrilled to have five new Coaches on our team.  You can read about them and what they’ll be doing below.  They’re all great and highly qualified individuals to help you and your organization maximize your social media footprint.

One of their duties will be to expand the number of Boot Camps we’ll be offering, beginning in the Fall.  If you’d like to host a Boot Camp in 2011-2012, please drop us an email and let’s start that conversation.

Our Certified Coaches

We have added five new members to our team.  Please welcome them:
Adam Walker Cleaveland
Kimberly Knight
Mike Baughman
Wendy Johnson
Dan Haugh

Each of them is perfectly suited to join the Social Phonics team.  They’ve got extensive experience in both social media and in the church.  You can read about each of them, and see them, on our Coaches Page, but for now, here’s a little teaser on each of them:

Adam is a pastor, runs one of the most popular Christian blogs in the blogosphere, and designs websites…

Kimberly has pastored a Second Life Church for several years…

Mike wowed his church staff with a successful Facebook Ads campaign for their Christmas Eve service…

Wendy has parlayed her work as a denominational communications officer into her own business advising small churches…

And Dan parlayed his youth ministry blog into a book contract.

So, as you can see, this is a great group!  They’ll be doing several things as Certified Social Phonics Coaches, including running Social Phonics Boot Camps around the country beginning in the Fall.  They’ll also be offering one-on-one coaching and consulting contracts with churches, non-profits, and individuals.

Contact us to set up an appointment with the Social Phonics Coach in your region.


If any of you happen to be interested in attending a Social Media Boot Camp or having your institution (church, seminary, college, denomination) host one, send me an email at dan@socialphonics.com


Hooked on Social Phonics

Last week I was able to attend a Social Phonics social media boot camp put on by JoPa Productions and hosted at Andover Newton Theological School.

Boot camp info

Here is a brief blurb about the training from their website:

“In our one-day Social Media Boot Camp, veteran pastors and social mediaistas, Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones will guide you through the basics of the most popular social media services, including blogging, Facebook,Twitter and free broadcast media. You will learn how, in just three 30-minute periods each week, you can dramatically increase your communication to members of your church or people interested in your organization and, even more importantly, to those who have the potential to visit your church or business. Most importantly, we’ll help you determine your own social media philosophy, so that you’ll know exactly why you’re going online each week.

Imagine getting real-time feedback from your parishioners as you prepare your sermon, spreading the word about a church outreach program without buying a newspaper ad, or posting a YouTube welcome to new neighbors in your community. Imagine hearing what customers are saying about your business or organization.

All of this is possible, and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, we’ll make it fun!”

Tony Jones instructed and taught this group of pastors, leaders, congregants, and educators.

I highly recommend attending or hosting this training seminar as it applies to everyone ranging for technological novices to those considering themselves social media junkies.  Both basic and advanced ideas and training was presented in a way that clearly made sense and was applicable.

Topics and Tech covered included:

The rise of importance, relevance, and influence of social media.

How to increase your reach and message via social media platforms and devices.

Effectively communicating and connecting your congregation and audience.

Getting your name into the community with maximize exposure and minimum cost.

Twitter, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, U-stream, and Blogging

I consider myself fairly adept with technology. I have a growing blog, Google profile, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube account, etc and I was surprised at how much I still did not know.

Even in the past few weeks, Facebook and Google have added excellent features to help track web traffic and simply makes things more convenient, and none of those features I had previously known or used.

I also learned some great ideas to help improve my blog feeds and reader accessibility.

You can stay current (and even be ahead of the curve) by attending this boot camp.

The day was fun, affordable, learner-centered, and extremely interactive.

We are hoping to have JoPa come to the NY area and host a boot camp for our area.

Church denominations, all pastoral staff members, public and private educators, communicators, and anyone else looking to make an impact in today’s (and tomorrow’s) society must be up to date with technology and the use of social media, and the Social Phonics boot camp is a great way to get started.

SocialPhonics on Facebook

Follow SocialPhonics on Twitter