People Portal Deployment
Using the People Portal
Now that you’ve got all the bells and whistles set up, you’re probably eager for your clergy and other leaders to try out this great new tool! But how will you get them to the People Portal, and what do you need to tell them about what they’ll find there?
There are two opposite approaches to this question, with variations in between. There’s the dive right into the deep end method. On the other end of the spectrum is the ease in little-by-little method. Let’s look at each one.
This works great if you have a communications team working with you. Create a three- to five-minute video that gives an overview of the People Portal “treats” that are now available (online clergy directory, the ability to upload their own photo, and update their own contact information). Create a few very short how-to videos that explain clearly how to access the People Portal, how to change a password, how to update their contact information, etc. Make sure the staff who frequently interact with pastoral leaders (maybe your district administrators) are fully trained on the People Portal and ready to assist folks with any problems that come up. Create People Portal Posts that offer enticing information so that clergy and others learn to return to their People Portal to stay up-to-date.
STICK YOUR TOE IN FIRST ...
This may be a better method if you don’t have as much support staff, and you want to focus on one thing at a time. You might start with something simple like updating contact information. Communicate directly to your clergy with the link to access the People Portal and instructions (print and video) about how to find the update contact info form, perhaps in July after new appointments have begun. In the early fall, add in report forms (via FormVites) and links to the church dashboard for charge conference forms. As people begin to get more comfortable with the People Portal, start adding a few People Portal Posts, such as appointment announcements. Get even more traction by adding a clergy directory. Each time you add something new, it’s an opportunity for more communication. One advantage of rolling it out slowly is that you have a lot of time to create buzz about the People Portal and to continually add new treats to motivate folks to return. As with the big splash method, it’s important to have staff ready to answer questions and help with navigation along the way.
WHERE IS IT?
Regardless of whether you’re jumping in or wading in, no one will be able to get wet unless they have the link to the People Portal.
- To get started, do a direct email to everyone who needs access to a People Portal.
- Give them this link: https://www.YOURWEBSITEHERE/peopleportalsigninhelp
- Once they click the link, a screen will pop up asking for their email address. Once they submit their address, they’ll receive an email with login credentials. Note that they must submit the same email address that is currently listed as the primary email in their People record.
- In the invitation email, be sure to include instructions for how to change the login credentials once they get to the People Portal – or else include these instructions on the home screen of the Portal.
- You’ll also need to make sure that people know how to return to their Portal after the initial login. It’s a good idea to include this information in the initial email. Many conferences include a link to the People Portal and to the Church Dashboard on their website: https://www.YOURWEBSITEHERE/peopleportal
YOU'RE NOT ALONE!
As you get ready for the launch, remember that you’re not the first conference to deploy the People Portal. There are other folks out in Brick River Land who would be happy to share their experiences if you feel stuck. Feel free to use Discord to ask questions of the community, or brainstorm new ideas for the People Portal. Every conference does it a little differently, so you might have discovered some insights that others would welcome. The People Portal is a flexible tool with lots of intriguing possibilities, so get in there and have fun!