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Keep Connected this Summer

Monday, June 27, 2016 10:53:17 AM America/Los_Angeles

Keeping Connected

Keep Connected This Summer

Stay in touch with your congregation even if they aren’t there every Sunday.

It happens every summer. School ends and members take vacations and attend

events that make it hard for them to get to church. Your attendance varies from

week to week, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose touch.

Here’s 5 ways you can stay connected this summer

Read More
Comments | Posted in Communications By Mike Kern

Updated Your Website Lately?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 2:48:23 PM America/Los_Angeles

A recent LifeWay Research report surveyed over 1000 churches to see how they use their websites. While
the report addresses multiple topics about how churches use websites, I thought the statistics on how often churches update information was noteworthy:

• 15% of churches update their website more than once a week.
• 40% of churches update their websites weekly.
• 42% update their sites once a month or less, including
• 7% who update their websites once a year or less.

Pastors cited lack of time, finances and lack of interest among the congregation as reasons why they didn't update more. With the web becoming such a central source of information it's important to keep your church website current. The more up to date the information, the more people will turn to the website. With my own church, the website has become the place to find out what's going on and also the place to sign up for events. The church has been able to cut down (or eliminate) most print communications, which saves staff time and printing costs. Realizing that not everyone has access to a computer, a laptop is frequently present on Sunday
mornings so people can sign up for events between services, or they can sign up with a written sheet.

If your website is difficult to update, it may be time to look into a new website. The LifeWay report was sponsored by Axletree Media, which provides low cost, easy to manage websites (Church Logo Gallery has no affiliation with Axletree). Church Logo Gallery partners with a company specializing in church websites, so we would be happy to help in this area as well. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can update the easy to use content management systems that are now available.

With web access by smart phones, tablets, laptops multiplying, keeping your website current isn't just good communication, it's a necessity. To read the full report, go to: http://www.lifeway.com/article/170638/ 

Comments | Posted in Communications By Mike Kern

Can You Relate?

Sunday, April 4, 2010 5:00:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

Can You Relate?

April 5, 2010

You may have a great story, but it won't have an impact unless you tell it in a way people can relate to. To make a difference, you need to:
• Understand your audience
• Know the issues that are a priority for them
• Build bridges that connect with them
• Be able to move together toward a common goal

For a closer look, take a look at this article from our friends at MarketingProfs.com: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2010/3465/achieving-relevance-understanding-and-connecting-with-constituents

Comments | Posted in Communications By Mike Kern

5 Keys to Good Communication

Thursday, March 6, 2003 4:00:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

 

5 Keys to Good Communication


Building a bustling, interactive congregation requires good communication. Here are 5 keys that will help.

1) IDENTIFY YOUR CORE MESSAGE
What is your purpose, the reason you exist? What one thing do you want to be known for? It could be as simple as - Where People become Followers of Christ. This becomes central to all communications coming from the church. The church logo, brochures, even teaching and preaching themes spring from this core message. You know you've done your job well when people with casual ties to your church recognize your logo and other printed materials as being yours, and can describe the essence of your church.

Taking it one step further, make sure every member of your staff and leadership team knows your theme or vision statement. When your leadership team is heading in the same direction your congregation will, too.

2) GET THE RIGHT MESSAGE TO THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
With the best of intentions my church started a Hispanic fellowship and hired a new pastor. The only problem was that there was only a small neighborhood of Spanish speakers nearby and they were predominantly Catholic. There just wasn't an audience for a Spanish speaking protestant church in our neighborhood. There was a need however, for tutoring Spanish speaking kids, and ESL classes for the adults. Today there are over 100 kids in the tutoring program, and dozens of adults in the ESL classes each year.

What does the profile of your church look like? Your congregation will most likely reflect the area that surrounds your church, and your message should to relate to the issues that members of your community wrestle with on a daily basis. Bloom where you're planted.

3) CONNECT WITH YOUR CONGREGATION

THE PERSONAL TOUCH
At a recent program on customer service, I was surprised to hear the speaker stress the importance of thank you notes in marketing. Business relies so heavily on media and print marketing that taking time to handwrite notes didn't occur to me. His point was that the customer chose you to do their business with, and nothing builds loyalty better than a personal acknowledgment and thank you.

The church is in the people business. Programs are really just a means to build relationships, and to foster connection points with other people and God. I'm not suggesting sending out notes to everyone after every event. Volunteers and leaders appreciate being noticed and encouraged. I had a pastor who kept track of everyone's birthday and sent a short note every year. As a result I felt closer to the pastor and looked for opportunities participate in ministry.

E-MAIL
If you can't send a personal note, send something. A friend of mine receives an e-mail at least once a week from the pastor to families at his church telling him of upcoming family events. I had a pastor who send out e-mails a couple of times a month with a warm note and an invitation to join him for an upcoming event at the church. It helped me feel connected to what was going on even if I wasn't able to attend.

4) SET A HIGH STANDARD
There are so many promises being made today that the average consumer is skeptical. They are tired of organizations that over promise and under deliver. Because of this, it's harder for the church to reach potential visitors, and harder to keep them once they've come. There are 2 simple ways to build bridges of trust in your church.

DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU'LL DO
Don't make promises, even optimistic ones like, ³You'll love our church², if you can't control the outcome. There's no way to anticipate how someone will react when they visit. It would be more effective to describe your service or congregation and let them decide how respond. Likewise, when you promote an event don't over hype it or mislead people into believing it will be bigger than it really is. It may get them there the first time, but will deter them from coming in the future.

DELIVER EXCELLENCE
Communicating well doesn't have to be a financial drain. Plan appropriately and be prepared. Programs need the right kind of people to lead them, and may require teaching resources to equip the leader. With special events, make sure you have the right amount of people to carry out the plan, otherwise the volunteers will feel overwhelmed and be reluctant to help again, and the event may also suffer.

For promoting programs, there are more graphic resources available than ever, and the quality is growing. Clip art and subscription services can be found on the internet with everything from individual illustrations, to predesigned pages. In some cases you don't need to do much more than print the time and location of the event.

5) PLAN YOUR COMMUNICATIONS AS A CAMPAIGN
People are bombarded with messages from TV, radio, the internet, billboards, magazines, and mail. Without driving your community crazy you can learn from the way business communicates. The keys are to interact regularly, and have a consistent visual theme.

Start by looking at how you currently communicate, then plan for the future. Look at your:

  • Meetings (Sunday mornings, midweek Bible studies, special events, and fellowship groups),
  • Printed information (worship bulletin, newsletter and special event flyers).
  • Electronic (E-mail and your web site)
Consider which are the best vehicles to promote events or provide information. Again, make sure you have the right message for the right audience. You don't have to say everything in every place.

Next, develop a visual theme for your materials. Lay out all of your bulletins, flyers, newsletters, church letterhead, and your Web home page printout on a table. If you were seeing these for the first time would you know these were from a single source? Having a consistent style will give them a seamless quality. The more your materials follow a visual theme, the more familiar they will look to the people that receive them.

Finally, plan for the future. Make a master plan for sending out information. Spread your events out over the year. Break the year into quarters and think seasonally. One church I know of planned a special event the week after Easter because they knew the weeks leading up to Easter were busy for many families. They saw the week after as a great time to follow up with Easter visitors and church members alike. Summer is a great time to do things outdoors. The Fall can be a time for renewed commitment and new programs. Next comes Christmas and Easter. The Spring can focus on growth and relationships. After you have roughed out a schedule you can begin planning your communication needs

Planning your communications will take time, but it can pay dividends in timely events and programs and improved response rates. By spacing events out and being strategic about getting the right message to the right audience, it could even save you money on mailing costs.

Copyright 2002-3. Michael Kern. All rights reserved.
Please contact Information@churchlogogallery.com for permission to use all or any portion of this article.

 

 

Comments | Posted in Communications By Mike Kern