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14 Things Every Communications Team Needs to Know

If you work on the communications or media team at a church, ministry, or nonprofit, your job is to share the story of your organizations to the local community and sometimes the world. While a pastor or leader may speak to the local congregation or supporters, your job is to take that message and share it on a much bigger platform. To do that well, here’s a list of critical things you and your team need to know: 

1. Understand the pastor or CEO’s vision. That’s where your messaging begins.

2. Learn as much as you can about every media position, from graphic designer to video operator. As a leader, you need to at least have an idea of what each role requires.

3. Ultimately, it’s not about technical equipment—it’s about connecting. I don’t care how fancy your new software is, the question is, are you using it to connect your message with people?

4. Understand today’s culture. Communicating a message has changed dramatically in today’s digital world. Know how to make that change work for you.

5. Learn to work under authority. If you want to be an independent filmmaker, novelist or other artist, great—but become a freelancer. In the meantime, carry out the vision of the organization signing your paycheck.

6. Begin a program of personal growth in the media. As the great artist Michelangelo said, “I never stop learning.”

7. Learn the principles of leadership. It’s your job to lead your creative team. Learn the techniques to do that well.

8. Increase your creativity. Whatever your job title, everyone can be more creative. Always be open to knew ideas, methods and techniques.

9. Return calls and emails. Be responsible. Show up on time, even if you’re the only one there. Remember assistants and secretaries. This is a people business. And people never forget how they are treated.

10. Every day, you’re placing a brick in the tower of your reputation. Remember, everything you do, big and small, either adds to or subtracts from your reputation. And in a digital world, you can’t hide.

11. Whenever more than eight to 10 people get together to do anything, something is going to get screwed up. Get used to it.

12. Learn the power of problem solving. Your value to the organization is your ability to solve problems. Never forget that.

13. Learn how to tell a story: Every presentation, every report, every project, every commercial—it’s all about stories. Stories are how human beings make sense of the world. If you want to succeed in this business, be able to tell stories in ways that capture your audience’s attention.

14. Good enough, isn’t. Stop getting your feelings hurt. Always be open to improving the project. Besides, there is going to be someone out there who will sleep less and work harder, will give up their weekend and give it one more shot. That is the person that I will bet on to win.