(The Juicys are a way to recognize and reward churches who’ve worked to improve their church communications during the last year. It includes giving them a grant to jump-start their next project. This week we'll be announcing the 2013 winners. There are five in total. Two are larger churches and three are smaller churches.)
Elmbrook Church, a congregation of 5,500 in Brookfield, WI, would say they’ve always had a strong communication. The look was professional, but over the years, the strategy itself started to fray.
“With the singular goal to reduce communication clutter, I worked with several pastors and senior leadership to develop a decision-making matrix designating criteria for high-emphasis, medium-emphasis and low-emphasis exposure,” explains Director of Communication Karen Kubiak. “I sought buy-in from the senior pastor, and then collaborated with our lead team of pastors to create a document we all were invested in. The matrix has been a big win for the communication team.”
The matrix, which is downloadable here, asks questions to determine how impactful an event or program might be. How many people will it reach? Is it geared towards visitors? Does it match what is being taught Sunday mornings? That helps determines how an event might be promoted. Additionally the guide lists all of the communication stream options and gives examples of where something might be promoted.
“A communication matrix doesn’t sound like a glamorous project,” noted one of our judges. “But it’s an area that’s neglected too often. Churches need to be intentional about their communication priorities. Plus a system like this is scalable for a church of any size regardless of how many communication avenues they have.”
Beyond the matrix, Elmbrook also replaced outdated folded brochures with a new catalog. The improvements didn’t stop there either. Elmbook also launched a new website to take the place of one that was patched together without a focus on visitors.
“The new website reflects a user-first philosophy (founded on Ephesians 2:4-5), with a focus on connecting site visitors with the information they are seeking, in as few clicks as possible,” says Kubiak.
Up next for Elmbrook is looking to develop an app and find other technologies to further reduce communication clutter.