Church Communications 101

“The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.”
— George Bernard Shaw

7This morning my church sponsored a most helpful “Getting the Word Out” workshop for church leaders (board members, committee chairs, staff, etc.). Based on introductory comments, here is a “Cheat Sheet” of things to consider when you want to communicate your church event.

  • Remember the number seven. If you want the majority of your congregation to hear about your event, you’re going to need to publicize it seven times. Saying it once doesn’t even begin to get the word out.
  • Cover the basics. It seems obvious, but you’d be amazed how easy it is to forget some of these, especially if you’re in a hurry.
    • Who?
    • What?
    • When?
    • Where?
    • Why?
    • How?
  • Be clear about your audiences. Possibilities include:
    • Current congregation members
    • Newcomers
    • Prospective members
    • Visitors
    • The larger community
    • The media
    • The denomination
  • Pick your communication methods wisely. Keep in mind your audiences, your message and that number seven. These will affect which methods are best. At my church, the primary possibilities are:
    • The newsletter
    • The church website, particularly the announcement blog
    • The weekly email
    • The order of service
    • An announcement from the pulpit
    • A press release
    • The bulletin boards
  • Remember: effective communication is not simple. In fact the technology I adore is making it ever more complicated, or so it seems. What, I wonder, would George Bernard Shaw, make of Web 2.0?