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Why Churches MUST Rethink Communication in a Pandemic World

rethink communication

We’re going on three months of the pandemic—including closures, stay-home orders, shuttered church buildings, and of course, no haircuts—so it’s time to evaluate how things are going. Your church needs to change the way it’s communicating. Instead of aimlessly creating and distributing content, it’s time to create a strategy. Make sure that you have a purpose for what you’re doing—and no, I don’t mean “the gospel.” Think about it: why would someone come to your website for a list of kids’ entertainment ideas when they can go to the experts on kids’ entertainment and find valuable content? Instead of having something for everything, stick to what your church does well, and do it the best. Here are three ways your church needs to rethink communication as this COVID-19 crisis continues.

Centralize Your Communication

Right now, everything is digital. Your printed bulletin—at least for now—is a thing of the past. When you come back together again, you might want to continue focusing on digital materials. That means it’s essential to have a central place for information now. Have one place where everyone can access anything they need. That might look like a landing page on your website with links to everything your church is communicating right now. That could look like utilizing your church app better. To rethink communication may mean having your regular email blast be a more critical piece of your communication strategy. What is the best way to get everyone access to the information they need? Make it easy. Make it accessible. Centralize the way you’re communicating.

Simplify Your Messaging

Not everything deserves advertising space. And not every announcement requires two paragraphs of text in every communication method. When you centralize your communication, that means everything else points directly back to this central place. The best practice is this: in your centralized hub, all the details should be available. Your other communication methods should have just the basics, with a link for more information, registration, or whatever is needed that links to that central place. Make it simple, bite-sized, and easy-to-skim so people can find what they need right now.

Make Your Communication Clear

Clarity is critical. Clarity beats creativity in messaging, and that is especially true right now when we’re all bombarded with information. Rethink communication to make your messaging incredibly clear. Don’t try to be extra cute and creative—that makes your communication cluttered, it takes more brainpower to comprehend, and that’s when you lose people. Instead, focus on clarity—stick to the essential information people need to know and make sure they know those details. Necessary information typically means ensuring you have the “5 W’s” (who, what, when, where, and why/how) and nothing more.

Now is the time to centralize, simplify, and clarify your communication. These three elements play a critical role in any church communications strategy. That means if you were missing a communications strategy before, it’s even more essential to develop now—and while it may seem like a daunting task, it’s a great time to rethink communication for your church’s strategy.

 

This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

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Bryan Haley is the program producer for Church Juice, a media ministry dedicated to energizing church communications. With years of communication and outreach experience gained in full-time church ministry and the field of church website design, Bryan brings a passion to help churches reach people with the gospel using effective church communications. Bryan and his family enjoy Michigan summers, Detroit sports, and spending time outdoors.