Do You Make These 6 Mistakes In Written Church Communication?

communicationMistake #1: Fail to call them to action – There has to be a goal for your communication. If you are communicating something, you are expecting some sort of outcome.   Is that expectation of outcome clear?  If it’s an event, you want people to buy tickets or attend.  If it’s to get volunteers, you want people to sign up.  Be sure that your communication calls them to action and clear steps to do so.

Mistake #2: Publish your communication piece in first draft form – Make sure that you have checked your work.  With an abundance of written and verbal communication floating around, it’s easy to think that it doesn’t matter or we don’t have time.  Sometimes we may even be tempted to think “people will figure it out”.  To the best of your ability, write clearly, concisely and have someone else proof read.

Mistake #3: Assume people are going to take time to ready lots of text – Even the most well meaning, highly connected constituents don’t often have time to read lots of text.  Be sure to leave white space, include pictures and make it pleasing to the eye.  Quick, bite size quotes and snippets will help draw people in and with good presentation, they will eventually wind up reading most everything you need to communicate with them.

Mistake #4:  Assume people know what you are talking about – To the communicator, much of the information seems redundant.  We have included this in other published pieces, we have talked about it for some time, and it’s been in our minds forever.  But don’t assume people know what you are talking about.  They may have heard about it somewhere along they, but always include the details.  Include the who, what, when, where, and why.  Include the purpose and explanation.

Mistake #5:  Say to yourself “who’s really going to read this anyway?” – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve actually heard someone say this.  Even if you’re just mumbling it to yourself, it’s bad news.  First of all, if you don’t know who your target audience is, you have trouble.  Second, if you really think no will read it, then why are you going to the effort.  Third, if you think no one will read it, then you’re probably not doing your best work.

Mistake #6: Limit their communication receiving options – If you expect for everyone to receive the written communication through one medium, you’re going to miss large segments of your intended audience.  In the case of a church, not everyone will see the bulletin from Sunday.  Not everyone will see the facebook post.   Do some study to find out the top three or four ways that people receive communication best in your organization.  Is it through email?  Printed newsletters?  Social media links? Once you discover the best ways, offer your communication through those tools.  One caution:  Don’t begin to offer communication through some form that you don’t really understand and therefor not able to stay consistent.

OTHER POSTS…

Don’t breed communication apathy

The importance of handwritten letters

Do you know the goal of a creative subject line?

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