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Church Communications: Creating a Strategy for Content

Church Communications: Creating a Strategy for Content

Having a tool doesn't mean you know how to use it properly. It's critical that you use your communications tools to your best advantage.

Create a content strategy.

It's critical to use your communication tools properly. Having a tool doesn't make you use it the best way. Like many people, I have a BBQ grill, but I can't say I use it properly.

Recently, a friend grilled for us, serving an amazing meal cooked over the hot coals on his outdoor grill. It doesn't matter if you have the right grill equipment; it's the way things are cooked on it, the practice of getting it just right, and the quality of the ingredients that matter.

That's what communication strategy is all about. You can have the right tools (e.g. website, social media, bulletin, posters, etc.), but it's critical to use them properly based on feedback and to get the right content within them that determines the fine communications that you serve.

These things will determine whether anyone enjoys the "meal." It's incredibly important that your strategy continue changing incrementally. Create a process to establish your strategy in writing, including SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed). Remember that goals that are written down usually generate better results.

Why?

Writing something B E KNOWN FOR SOMETHING 190 down will enable you to decide on something specific and have it for accountability.

Write down what you want to communicate through the digital tools that are readily available to you. Then, incorporate print and verbal assistance as needed.

There are five steps to create a basic, functional strategy:

1. List every possible method or tool you'd like to use.

2. List your personas that represent your congregation and community.

3. Decide if you'll use some or all tools to reach each persona.

Or, will a tool only reach one? You determine that. You may decide to drop a tool if you're not using it effectively, or you may commit to using it better.

4. Decide what your audience's concerns, needs, and pains are and how you'll address them.

This is your be-known-for-something thread. Decide how the statement is interpreted by each audience and tool. For example, Instagram would require a picture, blogs would need great writing, and YouTube obviously needs video. Be specific!

5. Set a schedule, a ROI goal (return on investment), and desired outcome for all of your labor.
This will be easier if you do it by audience or by method.

Set a follow-up timeframe or mechanism that will hold you accountable. The more you're held accountablefirst, by writing it down; then, by sharing itthe better your outcome will be.

Once you start this cycle of dreaming, writing, doing, and checking, you'll start realizing your successes and your failures. Checking requires excellent analytics, so ensure you have Google Analytics (or something similar) in place.

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