I normally try to be positive. Much like many of you as you take the Gospel to your community. That’s positive! Being known FOR something is important for communication acceptance.
However, after decades of working with Pastors and communication ministry experts, I understand things that happen in our church that almost certainly cause our Church Comm to FAIL. Here are 5 that quickly come to my mind; but to be more positive, I’ll give tips for solving them:
- You’re saying too much. Clutter, noise, and over-talking will almost certainly create an environment of ignoring. The world has so much communication that we know what to listen to, what’s most important, and what to edit out. Tip: discover the unifying thread that unites your ministries, calms down all messaging, and gives your congregation the reason to listen: what you’re needed for. The big benefit of attending your church. Saying less, so they listen more.
- Your bulletin is the center of your communication hub. Most who receive a Sunday bulletin will not read it. At all! For those who do peruse it, many things are ignored. The more content, the more they’ll ignore. Later, when they want more information from what they’ve remembered from announcement time or the worship guide, they don’t seek a printed promotional piece. Print is not the answer. Tip: reduce the size of your bulletin and organize them to match your organized website. If your bulletin isn’t smaller this year than last, it’s too large — and costing you too much.
- Have a disorganized website. Since most don’t prefer a printed tool, where do they turn? They go to your website. And the web organization is critical so they’ll find what they’re looking for, where they expect it, when they want it. And we know that means FAST. Tip: Edit materials so they point to your thread and then tackle the main menu organization to ensure you have fewer choices and everything makes sense to your community (not just your congregation). After that? Move to each webpage and make sure the most important materials are near the top (and as brief as possible).
- No dedicated communication person. There are so many things falling under communication. In order to regularly assemble, create, edit, post, and update all your ministries’ content so it’s always accurate AND relevant, you NEED a focused person (volunteer or employee). Tip: Choose someone who understands process, has design intuitiveness, and is likable. Ensure they understand your thread, know your church’s value, and LOVE your audiences (congregation and community). Bonus Tip: Choose an expert and LISTEN to them (they may know more than you).
- Too many have administrative access to your social media channels. Many churches have added social media channels by whim. Ending up with channels that don’t make sense, don’t have naming or branding controls, have the wrong content, and have small audiences. Tip: Start taking control of each channel. But make sure you do it so it doesn’t limit the channel; but instead, controls the content to promote your entire church to a specific audience. Remember, it’s better to have LESS than more (most times).