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Re-Think the Role of Church Communications Director

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Since the church shutdown began in March of 2020 I started telling pastors that while outreaches like missionseducation, and children’s ministry are all important, during the pandemic it was the communication and media team that was keeping your church in business. If there’s been a remotely positive outcome of the virus, it’s been that church leaders are finally realizing that their online congregation matters, and communicating and connecting with that congregation is more important than ever. As a result, churches around the world have been re-thinking their communication strategy, and particularly the lead role of church communications director. Our team at Cooke Media Group has been deeply involved in these conversations, so I asked our Lead Strategist, Dawn Nicole Baldwin to share a little about how she sees this transition happening and what church leaders need to consider:

Dawn:  “Communications” wasn’t always considered important in most churches. Actually, there was a time when it was not considered at all— church secretaries updated bulletins and even websites in their free time using whatever clipart they could find.

As ministries evolved, most created a dedicated Church Communications Director position and built departments with supporting roles as needs required. But these roles were still primarily designed to serve the needs of ministries, and typically were not allowed to say “no” to requests. A drive-thru mentality became the standard operating procedure, with many ministry leaders filling out an order form of sorts, listing all of the ways they wanted to promote their event. (Do you want fries with that?)

This led to ministries inevitably competing with each other for the congregation’s attention, and “success” was determined by how many people showed up at an event.

COVID-19 Changed the Role of Church Communications Director

Without live events many ministries were forced to reconsider their end games, and the role of communications has shifted once again to become more strategic than ever. People still need to feel connected and belong, even if you’re not meeting in person. They need to know how the church’s vision may have adjusted to meet immediate needs, and what role they have to play in all of this moving forward.