The upcoming statement is not going to sound fun: Communications is about creating systems. While it sounds boring, without a baseline for basic communications, you’ll never have the foundation to dream about the future.
In general, people in your church want to be in the loop. They want to know what’s happening, why it’s happening and how they can be a part of it. That knowledge lets them take more ownership in their congregation.
Yet that simplest level of successful communication can’t happen if you don’t have some consistent baseline of service.
Identify what has to be done every week. Think of the basic forms of communications that are must haves for most congregations: weekly email, website updates, the bulletin, in-service announcements, social media and pre-service slides. Your list might be shorter, longer or have different elements. The point is there are basic avenues where people expect to get their information. Missing an email or skipping a bulletin can cause frenzy, right? So focus in on the basics. Even if it’s just three touch points, consistently nail them.
Create a system that completes these basics. Since it’s important to have a foundation for the basics, be intentional about creating a process to get them done. Systems don’t only create structure, but they help streamline processes. Looping in the right people, setting expectations of how communications work gets done and committing to a schedule will all help you become more efficient on delivering the basics.
Commit to what is achievable. A major problem in communications is taking on too much at once. There are so many avenues available and communications is an area where there are a lot of different, creative ways to share information. Don’t create projects that are too big to achieve consistently well. Launch initiatives in stages. Once you’ve mastered the basics that have to be done, you can expand what you’re doing.
You can still be creative. Limiting what you do in communications doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. While it might feel restrictive sticking to a few avenues every week, you can still find interesting ways to share your story. I’ve often read that great creativity happens when there are constraints and boundaries. When you’ve learned to be innovative with the basics, think of how better prepared you’ll be when you get launch something new.