Good, effective communication does not just happen. It requires a cohesive plan of action. Your communication strategy involves understanding your audience and then identifying the best way of communicating who you are to that audience. It helps you determine what, when and how you will communicate.
These are the 5 most effective steps you can use to execute an effective communication strategy:
1. Define the End Result
In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes, “Begin with the end in mind. Know what you want to achieve and what you want it to look like when you’re done.”
In the communications world, we call this defining the end result. This allows you to work backwards. By thinking of the end results, it allows you to dream. What could this strategy accomplish? Why are we developing this strategy? What results do we want to see after this strategy is developed? These results will keep you focused and motivated throughout the execution process.
2. Properly Assign Tasks
After you define the end results, ask this question: What action steps and tasks must be completed to achieve the end results?
- Based on those tasks, assign them to the proper team member, based on their experiences and skills.
- Set expectations high and be very clear about what you want accomplished from the person executing the tasks.
- Schedule precise deadlines. Deadlines keep you on track. They provide a level of accountability. It’s important that you meet every deadline on the scheduled date because it creates momentum to move the team and project forward. Missed deadlines are the killer of momentum.
3. Celebrate Small Victories
Your communication strategy could be six months long, a year or even longer. Along the way, to keep people passionate about the process and the end result, celebrate the small victories along the way. Recognize your team members. Buy them a small gift card to Starbucks. Celebrate them on social media. Write them a note. This is too often overlooked, and so vital to the process.
4. Discuss Strategy Often
Think of these discussions as milestones. Meet as often as needed to be sure that every member is on track. You can meet in person or via email or project management software. (ie: Basecamp, Things) The point is to stay connected to the strategy and the team.
5. Receive Pastoral Endorsement
Not only should you include your Senior Pastor and other key leaders in forming the communication strategy, they need to be the biggest supporters of the strategy. They should encourage the entire staff to know, embrace, and live out the communication strategy. The Senior Pastor not only should be involved, but he/she should be the champion.
A well-defined communications strategy provides focus, team unity, and incredible momentum as teams move constantly toward the vision of the Church.
How do you execute a communication strategy at your church or organization?