A key strategic question for any church any church today is what to do about all the channels of communication available? What material should go on the web? Stay in print? Be in both channels? What about social media?
If we look at secular communications, we see an explosion of options. USA Today's publisher Larry Kramer shared his strategy to provide content in a variety of channels when he took the job by saying, "The paper will build 'closer relationships with our readers' through new uses of technologies. . . . . We're going to give people what they want, when they want it, where they want it. You want it on your watch; I'll give it to you. Or inside of your sunglasses. "
Those sounds great—give people all the content they want in any channel they want it in, but realistically in the church, we don't have the time or money to do all this. Most churches are not looking for additional work in communications. Many are overwhelmed by the option of the print and the web and thinking about other channels seems impossible. We naturally want to simplify our communication workload in a ministry setting because we don't have time to do all the work we need to do. Most churches are not looking for ways to increase, but to consolidate their communication efforts. Following are typical questions I've received for help in doing that:
"What is the best way to communicate with people today?"
"What is the way to reach people best: the web, email, or social media?"
"Do we still need to print?"
"What is a communication channel? Which communication channel works best to reach people outside and inside the church?"
These questions reflect the concern, confusion, and frustration over the communication channels available to us today, which include print, web, email, postal mail, telephone, texting, social media, digital projection systems, voice, and people. When overwhelmed with channel choices and having limited time to implement them, it is natural to want to narrow our church communications down to one or two that will be effective. Because of that, I always feel bad as I answer people's questions about what to use because I know people want me to tell them that one channel, especially if it is the one they prefer, is all they need, but I can't do that. I can't do that because to be effective in your church communication ministry, to fully fulfill the Great Commission, there is no one way. [Read more...]