Friday, November 08, 2013

Church Communication

In today’s world, people are given an abundance of options for ways they can get information. Churches have bulletins, websites, printed material, Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, etc. The audience for each of those communication streams looks different and each has unique ways they interact and engage.
When looking at existing church communication streams, look for measurable, quantifiable ways that you can gauge their effectiveness. A few ideas on how to do that would include:
  • For Print …  How many of your print pieces are left over after they are distributed? If your church is printing 1,000 bulletins per weekend and more than half of them are left behind, you may need to rethink what you’re putting into people’s hands. Also, measure calls-to-action from print. That can be anything from seeing how many responses you get from a response card or publishing a link or email address that’s specific to print.
  • For Announcements … In-service announcements should call people to immediate action. Whether it’s picking up their phones and texting to get information and respond, going to sign up for something, or raising their hand, create an easy way to get an instant response. Set some internal goals around your announcements [e.g. 'We want to see 30 people sign up for this volunteer opportunity." Then, measure the response.]
  • For the Web… Analytics matter—there’s proof in numbers. If your church isn’t tracking analytics on your website, you need to be! Take a look at what content people are accessing the most on your website. And take a look at where people are coming to your site from—be it direct hits, social media, or other sources.
  • For Social Media … Determining social media effectiveness isn’t just by looking at the numbers of new Fans and followers. I think a good measure of social media effectiveness for churches lies in giving people something to talk about. See how people interact with the content you create in the form of how they reply, retweet, repost, or share it.
Careful and regular evaluation can help you identify any blockages as you look at existing communication streams.
If you feel like it’s time to dig some new tributaries that information can flow through, a few things to remember would be:
  • Who is this reaching? 
  • Who is going to manage the flow of content? 
  • What type of content needs to be created for this stream?
  • What existing stream could be merged with this or could this replace?
  • How will we measure effectiveness?

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