Does Your Church Have a Good Communications Strategy?

Communications is what we do. It’s how we spread the gospel, disciple believers, and connect the disconnected in relationships with God and each other. We tell, shout, herald, preach, and evangelize the world. We communicate.

Plenty of churches communicate well, at least in one aspect of communications. What we often lack, however, is a comprehensive and cohesive total church communications strategy.

I’ve just written an article at ResonateorDie on Three Layers of a Total Church Communications Strategy. Head over there to read the article and offer feedback.

View the Article

Attention: The Priceless Commodity of Marketing

Attention MarketingI won a book, Attention! This Book Will Make You Money!. It’s a book about how to use attention-getting online marketing to increase your revenue, by Jim Kukral. I read it in a couple of hours and it held my attention throughout, which is a really good start for a book on this topic!

Jim tells a pretty neat story about his attempt to get the attention of a well-known wealthy guy you may have heard of before – Mark Cuban. It worked, and it’s one of dozens of great examples Jim uses throughout the book of how to seize the attention of your intended audience/reader/consumer. It occurred to me just how important attention is, not only for marketing and earning revenue, but for publishing any kind of message.

You see, if no one is listening, it doesn’t matter how great our message is. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, nobody really cares whether it makes a sound or not. We’re just glad we didn’t get smashed.

I’ve heard plenty of times, in connection with the church that we should be “entertaining” people, but the very word entertain simply means to hold someone’s attention. Brainstorm with me. How can we get attention in ways that are meaningful, positive, and ethical? For the gospel, for our message, or even for our product, what works? What’s acceptable?

I’m going to address these questions and more over a few posts, but wanted to hear your feedback first. So, how does the concept of attention marketing grab you?

Our Message Ought to Be Both Timeless and Timely

MediaSalt

MediaSalt (an excellent resource for church communications) just published an article I wrote called “Giving Your Communications Roots and Wings.” It’s a message about how our very timeless message needs to be timely as well. We live in a very real-time culture, which has produced a very real-time web. Can you keep up and keep your feet on the ground at the same time? Head to MediaSalt to read Giving Your Communications Roots and Wings.

Three Big Words to Shape Your Communications Strategy

There are plenty of big words to throw around when it comes to communications, but three have been rattling around in my head all day…

Cohesive

It’s not that all of your messaging has to be the same, it’s that your voice needs to be one voice. Each piece of your approach should interweave and support all of the other pieces. We used to talk more about brand consistency. Now add to that messaging consistency. It’s tough to do this when we think from a new and open media mindset, but it’s not impossible.

Ubiquitous

Somewhere along the way, the church developed a sense of entitlement toward its community. We have the idea that people should drop what they’re doing and tune in. Why? Well because we are the church? How about this novel idea – why don’t we get the message into the warp and woof of the lives people are already living every day? In other words, let’s find ways to communicate everywhere, especially if you want people living the message 24/7.

Recommended Reading: I learned a lot about marketing and communications from Tamar Weinberg’s The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. (aff)

Agile

So it’s not a big word, but it’s an important one. Be ready to change on a moment’s notice. It’s great to be innovative and cutting edge, but as soon as we think we’ve arrived, we’re toast. Why? Because we begin to believe we have little else to learn. When we’re at the top of our game, we get to tell everyone else how it’s played – until the game changes a little and then we’re yesterdays’ news.

Choose agile platforms and be flexible with your methodologies. If the message matters enough, it’s worth it to stay off of our center of gravity and be ready to shift in a moment’s notice.

photo credit: Muffet

You Need to Know Kerry Bural (@KerryBural)

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A little over a year ago, I was entering a period of searching for God's will in my life. I felt tugged in different directions. I love being a Pastor and believe I'm called to it, but I also have a huge passion for communications, media, and design. One of the conversations that shaped my present assignment was with Kerry Bural.

Kerry went to seminary, but is passionate about church and ministry communications. While I was struggling with the need to be either a Pastor OR a communications guy, Kerry encouraged me to be open to BOTH, and I'm so thankful he did. Just a few months later, I heard from Saddleback Church and I'm now a Pastor who gets to specialize in communications.

Kerry is wise and insightful. He gets to work on cool projects. He writes an awesome blog at ResonateOrDie.com and serves as Principal of the Resonate Group. He's an encourager, a good coach, and a go to specialist in the field of church and ministry communications. You need to know Kerry.

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You Need to Know D. J. Chuang (@djchuang)

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I'm sitting at a Saddleback viewing party for The Nines conference, and directly across from me sits a guy with a Macbook Pro covered in a bright orange cover boasting a cool vinyl decal simply displaying “@djchuang.” If for no other reason than his sweet Mac gear, you should know D. J.

Additionally, with a single click (to D. J.'s page), it's obvious D. J. understands “social.” He understands media, and listening to him will absolutely help you understand how to communicate across the social web. Tune in to D. J.!

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