Imagine staring at 200 TV sets at one time. You see dozens of glowing screens stacked one on top of another like bricks. Each screen flashing different images. The sound from all the TVs mixing into a tornado of noise. After gazing at the screens for an hour, someone asks you, “What did you watch?” You’re stumped. The answer is both “everything” and “nothing.” When you receive too many messages, you receive no messages.
The same holds true for your church marketing and communications. When you bombard church members with messages, you overwhelm them. It’s a mistake a lot of churches make. They send out so many messages and force members to digest so much information that, as a result, people take away no information. Nothing sticks. Remember: Less is the new more.
How do you prioritize your messaging?
Here are four steps your church can take to prioritize your church communications and messaging and focus on what’s most important. Following these steps will enable you to whittle down the number of messages you pass along to your church members and deliver the messages you prioritize more effectively.
1. Clearly articulate the mission and vision of your church
For every message you are considering passing along to church members, ask the question: Does this message reinforce and support the mission and vision of the church? If a message does not advance the overall goal of the church, you should leave it in the dust. Every message you deliver should reflect your mission.
2. Gain a crystal-clear picture of your audience and community
Determine who your church audience is and what matters most to them. This will enable you to focus on messages that better speak to church members. Evaluate and understand the perceptions people have of your church (both internally and externally). Research how your audience(s) receives non-church messages and what messages are received most effectively.
3. Create a yearlong communications calendar
A great way to make sure you are not overloading people with messages is to create a communications calendar. This will give you a convenient way to visualize all the messages you are passing along to church members in a given week, month or year. It will also lead you to ask: What message do we want every member to know, understand and remember this week or month?
4. Limit the ways you communicate key messages
Train your church members on how you want them to receive messages. Drive people to your communication hub: your website. Use your website as the central place for people to find information. Let your audience know your website is a reliable area to which they can go discover important messages. Always keep your website maintained and up to date. Make sure you communicate your messages clearly and effectively on your website.
Take the steps above to help minimize the number of messages you communicate to your church members. Prioritizing and streamlining your messaging will give the information you do pass along greater weight and impact. When you communicate fewer messages more effectively, you increase the likelihood people will actually hear what you have to say. In today’s information-overloaded world, less definitely is more.
How does your church prioritize messaging?