A Week in the Life: Jeanette Yates

A Week in the Life: Jeanette Yates

June 21, 2016 by

Sometimes church communication work can feel like a solitary job. That’s why we like to encourage connecting with others, whether it’s in person or online. There’s a Facebook group for church communicators that invites people to share what they’re working on every Wednesday. That’s a cool way to connect, so we thought we’d highlight what some folks in the community are doing each week. So we present our ‘A Week in the Life’ series.

Today we hear from Jeanette Yates. She’s the communications director at Southside UMC in Jacksonville, Fla. Jeanette is a self-described fitness freak and founder of the faith-based Pilates program, COREministries.

The hardest thing for me is to step into more of a ‘ministry leadership’ role as opposed to administrative.

What’s on your plate this week?

This week, my (work) plate has included:

  • Introducing my staff to a marketing strategy and communications schedule. This has taken months to work up the courage to develop and present. Thanks to the encouragement and resources I have received through various church marketing blogs, Twitter chats and podcasts, I felt equipped to do this.
  • Working on the website to make it smoother and cleaner. Based on information I have learned in various communication blogs, I learned that I had way too much stuff on the website. Every week it seems like I remove more stuff!
  • Creating and collecting content for our weekly eblast. We recently moved to a different platform and style for this email.  Instead of merely a forum for announcements, we now tell more stories or give quick tips for connecting with others, etc.
  • Designing graphics (thank you Canva!) for various ministries. Having no graphic design experience, using tools such as Canva and getting great photos from Unsplash has made this job much easier and the results are amazing.
  • Setting up text alerts and social media tweets and posts to go out periodically throughout the week.
  • Monitoring our social media accounts to interact with people via comments and sharing content.
  • Oh, and practice for a VBS skit. It’s all hands on deck for VBS at our church!

What are you most excited about right now?

I am most excited about the new strategy and schedule. When I started, we had little social media presence and the website and social accounts were more like bulletin boards for information. Moving to a more ‘social’ approach and learning about the importance of websites as the ‘front door’ of the church, plus the increase in social media usage and interaction in general has necessitated the creation of a formal strategy. I am looking forward to working with my fellow ministry leaders to shift the paradigm and increase our digital communications and social media outreach.

What’s holding you back this week and how will you overcome it?

The hardest thing for me this week, and most weeks actually, is to step into more of a ‘ministry leadership’ role as opposed to administrative. I tend to be passive by nature, but am having to learn assertiveness and confidence in my role. How do I plan to overcome it? Practice! My senior pastor is very encouraging to me in this area and he, along with other staff members, are helping me learn and implement leadership skills necessary to meet the goals of my job.

What does your work space look like right now?

Jeanette Yates' desk at work

We asked Jeanette to share a picture of her work space and specifically asked her not to spruce it up for the picture. She shared three pictures. Here’s her desk at work. Click to see a larger version of Jeanette’s work space.

Jeanette Yates working hard.

This is Jeanette’s on-the-go work space—wherever she happens to be the kids. Click to see a larger version of Jeanette’s work space.

Jeanette Yates' work space at home.

This is Jeanette’s work space at home. Click to see a larger version of Jeanette’s work space.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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