Communicate How You Communicate

Communicate How You Communicate

June 3, 2013 by

Recently I was visiting a church in the heart of a retirement community. The pastor got up and was astoundingly relevant. “There are five ways we tell you what’s going on here.” He held up his hand and counted on his fingers: “The bulletin, the sign, the website, our mailer and announcements.” He paused and then joked, “If you still don’t know what’s going on, then I have a hunch you’re just not with it!”

I don’t know if this was the pastor’s typical practice, but as a guest, it was a huge leg up in knowing where to find the information about how to get involved.

Your church may have stellar events, programs and even great communication strategies, but the best laid plans can get derailed by the simple lack of clearly and concisely communicating how you communicate.

There is no better way to complement the work you’ve done in crafting a focused, strategic communications plan for your church than to pair it with a plan to regularly communicate to the congregation where to access information. Tell them how you communicate.

Best Practices
Here are some of the best practices for keeping your audience connected:

  • Have one channel that communicates everything you need people to know. Websites are ideal main channels. They should be well managed and updated often. All other channels should receive their information from this channel to maintain consistency. It should be the first channel you update with new or changed information.
  • Plan to communicate your channels once a month from the platform. Promote  your main channel every week from the platform and in your program/bulletin.
  • Use each channel to make people aware of other avenues your church uses to communicate. For example, a Facebook post can encourage people to sign up for an email newsletter.
  • Communicate these avenues to your leaders even more regularly and help them understand what you promote through what channels and why you handle communications the way you do (reasons will be varied for every church).
  • Communication is a two-way street; be sure to also define the channels that the church can communicate back to its leadership and make them known.

Communicating how you communicate will ensure everyone has access to your information from your most senior member to your newest guest. Putting a strategy together to communicate how you communicate and where to receive pertinent information will add tremendous value to every other strategy you have in place.

Photo by Cargo Cult
Post By:

Jon Rogers

Jon Rogers currently serves The Salvation Army Empire State Division as the director of communications and marketing after more than 10 years of full-time ministry within the local church. A five-time Creative Missions-ary, Jon is passionate about three things: functional digital tools, good espresso and purposeful messaging.
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7 Responses to “Communicate How You Communicate”

  • Lisa Hamilton
    June 3, 2013

    Great post Jon and so timely for me. This is so important, especially when your organization makes statements like “we don’t communicate well.” With the information in hand about exactly how we communicate our message, (as the communication director) I can say – yes we do! Here are all the ways we communicate and how we communicate those ways. Thank you!

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    • Jon Rogers
      June 5, 2013

      Lisa, so glad the post helped! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! Too many churches accept that they don’t do communications well and don’t work to change it. Glad to hear you’re not one of them!


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  • Kathy Widenhouse
    June 13, 2013

    Great point about identifying channels, and clarity, too, makes a difference. Even when we specify where we communicate, we can miss getting the message out if it’s not simple and clear. More here:

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  • Jon Rogers
    June 20, 2013

    Steven Kryger offered some great additional thoughts this week on his Communicate Jesus blog here:

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