“Hey, Jeff. We have this lunch after church tomorrow. Can we get it in the bulletin or the announcement video tomorrow?”

My job title at Tabernacle is Pastor of Media & Communications. In my two and a half years in this role, I’ve grown and learned a ton. Most of this growth (and my attention) has been focused on the media side. This has meant that coming up with a solid plan for communications hasn’t been a priority. It also means that I sometimes get asked to do impossible or highly stressful things for the sake of an event or ministry.

In 2018, I’m making a decision to outsource and purchase more graphics so I can turn my attention on the ever-growing black hole that is our Communications Strategy.

Our Strategy has been: No Real Strategy.

Each time we’ve tried to implement a communications strategy, I’ve approached it only half-heartedly. Any communication “rules” were immediately bent or ignored altogether. This isn’t really anybody’s fault besides mine. 

Our New Strategy: Develop One.

As I said above, this year strengthening our communication strategy is going to receive a lot of attention. I’m going to embark on a multi-step process to firm up our communication strategy. The first step is trying to get a grasp on the major events for each ministry. This will help me make a year at a glance calendar. 

Here’s a breakdown of what’s on the form:

 

What are the 5-10 CAN’T MISS Special Events / Dates / Gatherings that I need promoted in 2018?

  • Not every ministry is event-driven, but many are. Ministry leaders forget that other people aren't as attuned to their planning as they are. Asking this question helps to develop an outline to build the year upon.

What are the top 5 Resources I want people to know about in 2018?

  • Sometimes there are support channels or resources that parents need to know about. Things like ministry specific email, certain apps, print resources, etc.

What are the top 5 Identity Themes you want people to know about your ministry in 2018?

  • Part of what makes The Church so awesome is that each part is unique. Although we should try to all fit the Tabernacle brand, children's ministry looks a lot different than the worship team.

What are the on-ramps to serving or being involved in your ministry? Would a guest be able to find it?

  • We are so entrenched in our own ministries that we often assume everybody else is too. Processes that are clear in our heads might not be clear to the congregation. At Tabernacle, guests can't serve many places, but a member looking to serve likely has just a little more knowledge of your church than a guest.

What is your biggest communication struggle? Any ideas on the weak links or what we can do to strengthen it in 2018?

  • Honestly, I'm probably the weak link. Having a "guy" provides a false sense of security. It's easy to not do any work to promote something when you're equipped with "a guy" who does that type of thing. Of course, when that guy is struggling (see this entire post), then you get into problems and have a conversation like I opened this post with.

Are there any stories you see in your ministry that need to be told in 2018?

  • Any chance to celebrate what God is doing in your congregation is an absolute win.

Anything else you need Jeff to know about to help make 2018 a success for you?

 

 

This simple document is the most basic thing I can do to start wrapping my head around successful promotions in 2018. Do you have any sort of system like this? If not, let me offer you mine as a freebie. If you found this helpful, drop me an email.