Scheduling application for church publicity??
March 9, 2007 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a scheduling app to help me keep track of what events get publicized when, and where.

I work at a large-ish church, with lots going on. When someone has an event coming up, there are several avenues to publicize it. 1) a short blurb in our printed weekend bulletin, 2) bigger events may warrant a full-insert in the bulletin, 3) a verbal announcement during church, 4) a "slide" on the screens shown before church starts, 5) a manned table on the patio before and after church, 6) one of three highlight positions on our website, 7) a spot in our weekly email newsletter, oh yeah 8) a short video during church. All of this needs to be scheduled and kept track of. We need to have views of: what publicity is "Event A" getting / what is being advertised in each venue this week vs. next week.

Everyone with an event would like to have all eight advertising options, but they can't. Some of the options are more limited than others (i.e. only two verbal announcements per week). People usually don't know what advertising they are getting until it happens (or does not happen.) And, we struggle to keep track of it all and not let anything fall through the cracks.

A web-based app would be great. Different people handle different venues, and people could see what they are getting. We haven't found anything so far. MS Project looks more complicated than we need. Something must exist that can help us!!!
posted by clh to Work & Money (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm surprised no one answered this yet... but I'll be honest, I'm not entirely clear what it is you're looking for. Do you need just some easy way for people to see what's going on, but all the actual work of scheduling is still done by people?

It sounds like you basically see every avenue as a "resource", and that resource can only be used one-at-a-time or few-at-a-time. However, a simple calendar is not enough to make sense of it all: you want a way for people to easily see (and a set of people to easily edit):
  • Weeks view: a view of all the stuff being publicized that week
  • Events view: the list of events, and then where are all the places any given event is being advertised
  • Avenue view: What does the short video schedule look like for the next 3 months, for example?
Basically, this is a complex calendar problem commonly solved with calendar software or project management software. You mention MS Project, and you're right it's both complex and expensive, especially to get the server component and its web-based interface. However, for what you're trying to do there will be an initial learning curve it setting anything up, and that's unavoidable.

However, there are plenty of free project management products out there, and they have web-based flavors that could be what you need. Try this link from Wikipedia on free project management software. A caveat is that all of these will likely have far more than just calendaring capabilities, so you might be doing some work to turn off all the excess stuff you don't need. But click around, see if any of those web-based ones look like what you'd want to see.
posted by hincandenza at 11:22 PM on March 10, 2007

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