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    Church Communication Strategy: Why Have One?

    Home - Blog - Church Communication Strategy: Why Have One?
    TueApr232013 ByDavid PohlmeierTaggedChurch Communications
    The website for a church can be looked at as the central hub for all communications. Events, news, sermons, and blog entries are all added to the website and disseminated to email newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platforms the church uses. When creating a strategy for how this might work, the church has three main questions to answer:
    1. Who are we communicating to?
    2. How will we communicate?
    3. When will we communicate?
    Prior to launching a new online presence, especially building a new website, it's important to have these questions answered. This article will help identify how to apply a communication strategy to a church website and overall online presence. It is healthy to look at this broader and ensure that everything from welcome slides to bulletins to printed communications are addressed with the strategy. Even something like the chuches branding should be addressed when building an overall communication strategy.

    communication

    Who are we communicating to?

    Most chuches will say that they are intending for the website to communicate to existing members of the church congregation and perspective members. So, they are trying to reach everyone. From the analytics we study, roughly 50% of hits to our server are first time website visitors and 50% are returning. 67% of those visitors stay on the website for less than one minute. With that number, I propose that the homepage, the most important page, of a website has a strong focus on communicating to the new website visitors. The new person who is researching and thinking about attending on a Sunday morning. Allow the homepage to set the tone of the church. Just placing upcoming events, some graphics to announce those and the churches address may not be enough. Remember, 67% of visitors stay for less than one minute. In fact, 50% stay for less than 10 seconds. The time you have is limited, wasting it on having the person decide to make a click to dig deeper into the site might be losing site visitors.

    How will we communicate?

    With the iMinistries CMS there are many avenues to communicate though. Examples include:
    • Events
    • News
    • Sermons
    • Newsletters
    • Blogs
    Most churches jump on board and want to utilize all of iMinistries' features right away. We have churches with over 10,000 weekly attenders that have a full staff dedicated to updating a website and church plants with less than 100 weekly attenders and one staff member, the pastor. These two churches will communicate much differently and much of that has to do with resources. It takes time and some dedication to keep a website updated. I haven't even addressed social media yet! My suggestion is to identify what's important to communicate and ensure that you have time to do it through the methods that make the most sense. If you are a church of 100, don't try and communicate like a multi-campus ministry such as Harvest Bible Chapel communicates. Create a strategy that works for you.

    When will we communicate?

    Creating a schedule and realistic expectations for when communication will occur is often overlooked. These expectations will help determine what you communicate. Try and determine what the availability is and create consistency so that website visitors know what to expect. Then stick to it. A church with a dedicated staff needs to evaluate this just as much as the church plant with only the pastor updating the website. Erratic and inconsistent communications should be avoided. A big part of creating an online presence is consistent communication. Keeping the online community aware of your existence and reminding them often of who you are is important.

    Resources


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