All churches are communicating. A lot. But are people listening? Sadly, most of the communication coming from churches today is ignored: by the congregation (internal audience) and community (external audience). Yikes.
Let’s stop that. The gospel is so important, we NEED to ensure people will listen and engage.
These 4 rarely-used church communication tasks are all about CONTROL. As you’re communicating, you need to control communication to ensure the right people hear it and engage with it. So set goals for who should receive the information (resist saying “everyone” and decide on 2 or 3 targeted groups/personas) and what their preferred action is once they hear your messages.
These 4 church communication tasks are rarely done well. Perhaps why church communication fails so often. Let’s start doing them!
- Thread. You need ONE beneficial idea/concept that your church is known for. This unifies ALL your ministries under it. When every ministry talks, they should weave the thread through the message. What happens? It calms all communication down so that everyone understands why they attend and what makes you relevant in their lives. If you disappeared, you’d be missed for that one big thing. So… discover your thread (based on where God has planted you).
- Segmentation. Effective communication rises and falls on knowing (and loving) an audience. Want to guarantee a poor response to your communication? Try to talk to everyone. Instead, take “everyone” and segment them into personas. These stereotypical groups (with something that defines them) will listen more to a targeted message. It could be their demographic age group (Gen Z, Boomer, Millennial, etc.) or a psychographic need (raising kids, looking after aging parents, climbing corporate ladder, etc.). These segments have unique needs, concerns and goals. Speak directly to them and present directed solutions — they’ll listen more. Emails should especially be segmented to a particular group to increase open rates — guaranteed!
- Editing. No communication (words, video, pictures, etc.) should be presented without going through an editing process. Is there one concept to the story? Is it clear? Has it been said as briefly as possible? Is it scannable? Can you see your personas in it? Have all unnecessary elements been removed? Talk less, they’ll listen more. Show one idea in a visual, more will be interested. Is your video title clear who it’s for and why anyone would want to watch? Editing improves engagement.
- CTAs. Throughout (if it’s long) or at the end of ALL communication, you need a Call to Action (CTA). Best? Have 1 per communication piece. Having 2? It’s doubling the complexity of answering the question “now what?”. Segmenting lets you hone in on the itch you’re scratching in the particular group. Then give them the next step as part of your onramp, funnel, or journey. Difficult to do? If it’s not clear to you, it’s not for them. Fix that. Give me a CTA.