Today I am going to give you eight tips about successfully launching a great communication strategy or plan. If you want more information about the strategy, go to benstapley.info/communication.
1. Define what the resource allocation is going to look like
In other words, think of a church as a communication pie.
How are you going to cut up that pie and how many pieces are you going to give to each ministry?
Knowing that is the groundwork before you go anywhere else. This is not a job for the communications manager or director only, but a job for the leadership because it's impacting the whole church. Making this decision helps everybody understand how many resources they have.
2. Communicate the allocation
This is a little obvious, but I need to state it. The allocation needs to be communicated and it needs to be communicated in a way in which all parties hear about it at the same time. It could be something as simple as email, but sometimes it's also helpful to do face to face. When you share the information once with all those parties that are impacted, then we all know how the pie is cut up and we all respect it.
3. Use partnership language
If you come from a creative agency outside of the church, you probably use the term client. If we start to use that language in a church setting, it can become a very professional and cold relationship. If you use the word partner, then it conveys the understanding that we're working together on the same goal and we're not working against each other. It also conveys the fact that we're on equal sitting. When we are both on the same footing, the creative or the communicator may say, "You know what, I need to push back on your request because I don't have the bandwidth to execute it." The partnership language gives them that chance to have an honest conversation.
4. This quarter or never
If I can't get to one of your requests during this quarter then there's a likelihood that I won't be able to get to it in the next quarter. I may not be able to get to it because we're in the Christmas season and it's taking up all my bandwidth. The following quarter we have baptisms and then the quarter after that we have Easter and then the quarter after that we have fall launch, and then we come back to Christmas. The reality is that if I cannot complete your request in the first three months then I'm not going to get to it in the next three months.
5. Whenever you add, you have to subtract
When you're launching a communication strategy and a team, think about the different creative disciplines within the team members. You could do graphic design, write copy, and do photography. You also want to add videography. If you're going to add a discipline, you might need to consider dropping one because there's only so much bandwidth that your current team has.
6. Right size your requests
This means you make sure the communication matches the request. Oftentimes everyone sees the world through their own prison and they want a huge amount of resources, even though the request and the value might not be as big.
7. Scale up your requests
The alternate option to right sizing is to consider scaling up. It can be easy as a communication team to always say no. That's reality, but there are opportunities in which you can scale something up. Often you know of a communication method or a way to bring greater value to a partner that they're unaware of. Speak into it and look for those chances, not just to say no, but look for those incredible opportunities to say yes.
8. Always explain rejection
No one likes to be rejected, it doesn't feel good. I'm sure we all remember those times when we asked somebody out in high school and they said no. It does not feel good and It feels even worse if you don't know why. When a partner comes to a communication team and makes a request and you have to say no, there's a reason behind it. It is going to be a problem if you do not communicate your reason. I like to say this, information vacuums are never filled in with positive truths. They're always filled in with negative assumptions, so if you say no and don't say what the positive truth is, your partner is going to have negative assumptions. If you explain rejection, it will ensure that the partner understands the why, behind what you're saying. They might not be overjoyed, but they'll at least understand you and it will help them accept it.
Those are my eight tips about how to launch a communication strategy and plan. Again, if you’d like more information, please go to benstapley.info/communication.
Read the full blog of this episode here: https://get.tithe.ly/blog/church-communications-strategy
Today on Modern Church Leader, Ben Stapley explains how churches can architect a church communications strategy that boosts church growth, engagement, and giving.
Connect with Ben here: benstapley.info/communication
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