It seems like spring just started but we’re almost into summer. Yes, time flies — especially when it comes to church communication. Summer brings added complication to your communication team: vacations, less attention from ministries, and your congregation drifts away from a regular schedule.
Summer relaxes. Your communication team can’t.
Here are 4 things needing attention NOW as we head towards summer in your church:
- Have a calendar of summer events. Every church needs an annual communication calendar that is accessible to everyone who creates events. It needs to have EVERY church event added with enough time to create communication materials to promote it. This is often based on how many people you’re trying to get in attendance (tiering) because the more you need to inform, the longer you’ll need. We’re talking about being on the calendar months in advance for the top tiers. Double check now with every ministry to make sure everything’s on the calendar for the summer months. Ensure you’re aware of how much comm support they’re needing. There’s never a better time to understand what’s on your to-do list.
- Have a scheduling plan for social media. Based on the summer calendar create a plan for social media. To get a break from the constant social media posting, get an app for scheduling (hootsuite, buffer, tweetdeck, etc.) and set up your posts in advance. WARNING: once posts are scheduled this doesn’t mean you’ll forget them. Be on the lookout for event cancellations and crazy world or community events that could affect any of your posts. Remove or change any that will not be received well.
- Have a vacation plan for your communication hub. On top of social media, you also have website, bulletin, emails, announcements, etc. that need attention. Fortunately, most churches relax their communications a bit during this slower time on the church calendar. This may be a good time to (permanently?) reduce the size of your bulletin and announcement time. Maybe other noisy communication needs reducing too. Stop contributing to the noise if the communication (or tool) isn’t working well. The summer’s the best time to look at this and tweak. Make sure everyone is aware of vacations so that you have materials earlier or a plan for replacement positions too.
- Start planning for the fall. Sure, summer starts in June, but so should your planning for the Fall. Yes, the communication year never ends! Start talking with the Pastoral leadership about what they’re thinking about or anticipating. If you’re not part of the planning (like I’d recommend)? Ask the leadership team if you can start brainstorming around some of their broad ideas. Assure them you’re going to be suggesting ideas for getting people involved with their ministry. Prove to them why communication should be sitting at the leadership table!