Just as we set personal goals at the beginning of a new year, it’s important to do the same for our church communication strategies. As the digital world continues to grow in importance, it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused on where to start. This is where I suggest setting small but achievable goals! Below are five areas I believe are important to focus on in the upcoming year:
1. Use digital communication to engage but not replace personal communication:
With the pandemic we’ve seen digital means of communication become essential, making it easy to lean heavily on it even as restrictions lift. While digital communication will remain an important component going forward, maintaining other forms of communication is just as essential. Members and newcomers alike want to feel like they are a part of a community, which means wanting to be cared for and wanting to care for others.
Here are just a few ideas on how to connect deeper as a congregation using both digital and other forms of communication:
2. Clean up and/or update your website:
If you haven’t updated your website design in the last five years, it’s time to make it happen. If you need help redesigning your website, reach out to me at email@example.com. I can help at little to no cost to your church! Tips for updating your website:
3. Have digital components for your newsletter and giving:
If you are still avoiding a digital newsletter and/or online giving, make 2021 the year to lean into it. The great part is you can set up both of these at little to no cost! Both make it much easier for members to connect and give without jumping through additional hoops. The easier you make it for people to learn more about your community, the easier it will be for them to join in and participate.
4. Don’t try to do it all! Focus on what you are doing well, then add one small thing at a time:
You may be feeling the pressure to have a presence on every single social media platform along with a perfectly conducted livestream or prerecorded service. But I’d actually suggest not trying to do all of this.
Start by looking at what you are already doing. If you only have a website and a Facebook page, great! Start there! See what can be improved on those two spaces. Maybe you’ve been putting off something for quite a while now. Focus on becoming more effective on the platforms you are on before creating a presence on another one.
If you are ready to add another social media platform, awesome! Pick one that you’d like to explore, and again, set small goals to work toward creating an effective presence. It’s far more important to have a presence of quality over quantity. You are only adding to the unnecessary noise of the internet if you aren’t taking the time to post content that your congregation or visitors care about.
5. Continue to be upfront about safety precautions as the pandemic continues:
We are all tired of COVID ruling our lives, but that doesn’t mean we throw out safety measures all together or assume everyone knows the rules by now.
Continue to communicate clearly with your congregations as restrictions lift or become more strict. While people may not be happy to have their traditions disrupted, the safety of our neighbors is of utmost importance.
Use your channels of communication to update members on added or lifted safety precautions, cancelled services, etc. Make sure the information is on the homepage of your website and posted clearly on your social media for those who may be planning to visit.
While resolutions can set us up for disappointment, setting small goals and working toward them throughout the year is far more effective. Start small this year while updating your communications strategy and know I’m here to help! Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have about your communications goal setting.