A communication strategy checklist for the new year could be very long for most churches.
In fact, trying to get communication correct is a customized, difficult task.
Because every church’s audience is quite different, with different needs. Combine that with the multiple ministries you can offer, and it’s difficult to effectively create all the pieces. For your 2023 church communication strategy, let’s concentrate on foundational areas.
What does that actually mean?
It means you’re communicating well with your congregation, while also reaching out and making your community aware of your ministries, events and the gospel message.
It’s not a simple thing, so here are the basic areas you need to understand:
Church communication checklist
Define personas. For your 2023 church communication strategy checklist, personas are critical since everything builds on them. Define stereotypical groups within your congregation and community that you desire to communicate with.
Start with the demographics of your community and compare the information to your membership. Create primary and secondary groups that encompass most of these characteristics. Concentrate on their needs, concerns and goals.
Ministry solutions. Now get their attention. Call your personas by name — ones they’ll recognize, like “young parent” or “senior adults.” Speak about their pains and then offer ministries that solve their issues or help lead them to a desired goal to get them to engage.
The majority of your ministries and events need to connect as a solution. It may be time to eliminate some struggling ministries.
Communication tiers. Every ministry can’t have the loudest voice — that’s just noise. Based on how many need to hear about the event, create tiers:
Tier 1: Events in which 85% or more of the congregation should be interested.
Tier 2: Events in which 85% or more of the church’s individual ministries should be interested.
Tier 3: Events which will reach less than 85% of the church’s ministries.
Give priority to tiers one and two; limit tier three. Or prioritize announcements from tier one to tier two and then tier three.
Unified calendar. Set up one calendar that someone oversees. Ensure those creating events have access. Make sure all church and community events are on the calendar since they all affect your audience.
Limited channels and tools. Determine the tools and channels you need to get your message out. Your website must have all event and ministry details, but every other channel and tool (social media, email, print) doesn’t need all the content. Less is more.
Enough team members. Most local churches need a team to pull a communication strategy checklist off without dropping the ball. It can be volunteer based, but you need someone to lead the team.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.