The 12-Days of Communication
The countdown is on. What if it only took 12 days to establish an effective Church communication strategy? What if it just took a couple of weeks of intense attention? Just imagine where you can be. So many in your community would know about your ministry and actually be interested! Or at least they could make a decision based on something interesting. Let’s start now:
Day 1 – Do you know your two audiences? Internal and External. Effective communication rises and falls on how well you know them. Commit to discovering as much about them as you can. Pray that God places a deep love in your heart for both groups.
Day 2 – Determine the actual reach area of your church. This is a custom area where you’re currently attracting people. Start by plotting your members on a map. Look for clusters; ignore outliers.
Day 3 – Get a good demographic study done for your reach area using online resources or you can get a general study of your area from your Chamber of Commerce.
Day 4 – Now gather demographic info about your church membership. Compare community to congregation. What are the differences? List how you should change the internal to match external.
Day 5 – Define your primary and secondary communication personas (the groups that sustain or grow your church from your community). Name them something so you can regularly refer to them.
Day 6 – Talk to your audiences. Set up focus groups (~10 people/group) representing various demographics (internal and external). Get to know their needs and goals. How’s your church positioned to be a solution to them? Or maybe a path to their goals? List them.
Day 7 – Write one benefit-driven (not overly spiritual) thread that you should be known for in your community. 3-5 words that engage so you can later point them to Jesus. Add it to your logo and weave the thread throughout your communication and ministries.
Day 8 – Visit where your persona groups hangout in your community. Does your church feel like these places? List what you should change at your church so your community would feel more comfortable.
Day 9 – Visit your website. Can you clearly see your communication persona? Their needs or goals? Your thread? They need to see themselves and their needs in order to feel welcome. Is there anything in the main menu that requires explanation? Internal language? Sub-brand? Change everything to something that’s more obvious. This may take more than a day.
Day 10 – Set up a system to give important ministries the loudest voice based on what percentage of the church should attend. Most of your congregation should go? Give them the loudest voice. Tier your ministries (i.e. Tier 1 – 85%+ of church; Tier 2 – 85%+ of ministries; Tier 3 – less than 85% of ministries)
Day 11 – Set up one communication calendar that lists ever event in your church. Each should be tiered and conflicts cured. Stop clustering so many events in the same timeframe!
Day 12 – List all communication tools and decide which tier gets access to what (everyone can’t get everything). Do you have the people to sustain this? Create a list of who you need to volunteer or hire.