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Storytelling vs. Sharing Information

A whole host of you are going to roll your eyes when you see the title of this blog post. Previous clients. Current workshop participants. Anyone who has spoken with me seriously about communications, oh, in the past decade. They're rolling their eyes because I talk about the importance of storytelling over sharing information in communications all.the.time.

And I talk about it all the time because it is at the very heart of everything I do and teach.

For those of you who haven't had this conversation with me. Here is the breakdown:

All effective communication involves storytelling.

Storytelling is when an organization, a business, a church crafts a narrative about WHO they are and WHY.

Sharing information is answering the WHAT, WHERE, and HOW about a specific program, event, or offering.

Storytelling isn't completed in a single email or a one-time social media post.

Yes, somewhere on your website (ideally the home page, front and center) you should have a short paragraph that answers these two questions: Who are you and why? And, yes, from time to time it may serve you to explicitly remind your congregation of this same "story" in an email or on social media.

More importantly, however, storytelling is an on-going attempt to craft a narrative around the information you want to share so that it makes sense within the context of these two questions.

I know there are Zoom links to provide and Sunday morning service details to give out. Yet, merely sharing that information without story indicates an important misunderstanding of the power and purpose of communications—to build community.

All of the information you need to share can be presented in a way that supports who you are as a church and why you do what you do. This will make your content more interesting and lead naturally to more engagement and connection with your congregants in a digital space.

Consider this: Someone lands on your church's website or your Facebook page for the first time. How long would it take them to get a sense of who you are and why you do what you do as a church?

If you can't answer the question easily, it would probably take too long.

P.S. Feeling a little lost and want to learn more about my take on church communications? Reach out to be added to the wait list for my upcoming workshops: "Social Media Deep Dive" in September and "Communications Crash Course" for Church Leaders in October.

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