After months of designing, tweaking, and saving, choosing colors and formats, you have a good thing going.
The logo is settled and has been in place for some time now. The website looks great; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all rolling.
Management is happy.
Everything looks cohesive and professional. Your church’s brand has been established.
And then, an ambitious and well-meaning church volunteer comes along and informs you that your branding is lacking and that they can improve upon it?
And Then It Begins
They start with a few submissions. And the work is not good. In fact, it’s bad. REALLY, REALLY bad. Done with great enthusiasm, but you wonder if they’ve ever even been to your church before.
- How do you handle such types of submissions?
- Is it really fair to the person to say thank you, accept the submissions, and use sub-standard work in your branding campaign?
- Is it fair to the organization to lower standards, change the look, and possibly confuse the public with a temporary fix?
- What do you do in these situations?
5 Tips to Survive Church Volunteer Submissions
Here are five things I have learned through trial and error:
- Thank the person. Encourage them to continue to work.
- Never even imply a guarantee that if they keep submitting, then someday it will be used. Honestly, some people are unable to grasp the vision of an established project and may never submit anything up to par.
- Re-direct creative energies to a field where they will excel. Maybe logo design just isn’t their forte, but something within your organization might be. If you spend even a few moments with people, you are likely to see their passion.
- Really look at their work. Your first reaction may be wrong. I know; no one likes to be criticized. But maybe some things could use some freshening up, and you could garner some ideas from the person.
- Inform management (pastors, administrators) of your decision not to use the submission. For, this could turn into a difficult situation where you are compelled to use little Johnny’s poster idea in the name of diplomacy and church member relations.
Your job here is to do what’s best for the organization, while at the same time avoid squashing someone’s hopes and dreams.
Be nice. But, be honest.
Has this ever happened to you before?