Whether you are mapping out a longterm communications strategy for your church or you have something specific to communicate within a fixed timeframe, the approach is the same:
Think through these six steps whenever you are preparing to share a new message.
While at first glance these steps may seem straightforward, my guess is that there are one or two you skip regularly. It happens to the best of us!
Use these steps as a checklist to hold you and your teams accountable:
Pinpoint your purpose. Be as specific as possible in defining your purpose or setting your goal. This will not only help you as you work through the subsequent steps but it will also ensure that your plan is effective!
Identify your audience. Your congregants will pay closer attention to what you have to say if they know it is relevant to them. Not everyone should receive every communication.
Craft the message. Of course, you want to make sure all relevant information is included, but keep it as brief as possible. This will guarantee your message is not only shared but received.
Pick your platforms. Based on the audience you identified, now decide how you will get out the word. Consider everything from church announcements and the bulletin to your website, social media, and email. Be strategic, however, in your choosing. If you aren't discerning, you will lose attention over time.
Map it out. Determine how often and when you will communicate this message, who is in charge of its dissemination, and who else needs to be aware. This step is often missed but it's an important one!
Follow up. Following the event or project, take time to assess your success. Did you meet your goal? Which form of communication was most successful in helping you reach your goal? Did you receive feedback of any kind? Much of effective communicating is trial and error. If you never take the time to look at your analytics and gauge how you're doing then how will you know when and where you can improve?
Now that I've walked you through the six steps of effective communication, tell me in the comments: Which of the steps do you miss sometimes? Which do you find the easiest? Most difficult? Where can your church improve?