Every organization communicates. Few communicate well. Most organizations throw resources all over the place and watch what sticks.
As a church creative director, I’ve spent years refining my strategy for effective communication. Here is the core of what I’ve learned. This model is what I use every day when making strategic decisions.
A Caveat: if you work for a local church, it’s important to state that most churches separate what they call “communications” and “creative arts.” “Communications” usually lives under operations as a tactical and administrative function, and “Creative Arts” lives under worship as a production function. I think they work best together under the common banner of the Message. They’re all aspects of how the message travels from Sender to Receiver. (Here’s a note about Message theory.) Think of worship as the number one channel for the message, and all of your other channels (website, email, etc.) as complementary. At my previous church, Peachtree, and now again at St. Andrew, I’ve created an org structure that combined the creative and the communication aspects of the Message under one system and workflow.
With that in mind, this is my simple five-part checklist that will help you deliver your message more effectively. Here it is:
- Brand. What makes you burn.
- Plan. The means by which you share what makes you burn with the community.
- Message. The ideas themselves, which live in several forms.
- Image. The stories and metaphors you use to communicate your message.
- Channel. The means by which the message travels through your community.
Any effective communications strategy needs to have a deep understanding of these steps.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be highlighting aspects of this strategy.