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Tips for the Future of Parish Communication

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Staying connected with your parishioners has never been more important. Therefore, creating standards for your parish, getting people involved, and holding them accountable for communicating is more important than ever. Make sure you are taking the right steps in keeping communication flowing in your parish. Here are a few tips: 

Keep Your Communication Personal

Automation and templates are powerful tools. Personal connections are more powerful. So when people get a personal touch, it incentivizes them to be part of the conversation. Keep things personal by:

  • Calling key leaders and influencers and encourage them to communicate with their groups
  • Regularly texting a list of people in your group with encouragement, updates, and requests
  • Messaging people directly on Facebook, asking them to share events, images, and posts
  • Listening to what people have to say using surveys and targeted questions
  • Meeting in small groups and “huddles” to discuss what’s going on
  • Creating a private online community for your group, where people feel safe to share

Reach Them Where They Are, Anytime

Using the right tools, you can still keep connectivity within segments of your church. To accomplish this, you can:

  • Use your ChMS to create group discussions where a conversation can occur
  • Utilize the social media channels your people are using with the right messages
  • Offer a mobile app where your people can interact with events, conversations, and data
  • Monitor participation so you know who to reach out to personally

Targeting Messages to Remove the Noise

Not everyone needs to be part of every conversation. So reducing the noise will increase participation in the conversations that really matter. If you want to keep messages targeted, you can:

  • Create groups for a variety of purposes in your ChMS
  • Send out reminders, notifications and requests to people in groups
  • Set up group texts for collaborating on specific projects and events
  • Foster discussion within group settings by only including the relevant voices
  • Message people directly, or in groups, on social media channels

Automate the Standard Stuff

Weekly email reminders, new group visitor follow-up, event notifications, announcements, social media promotion, and any regularly recurring communication can all be automated to save time and create consistency. There are a variety of online and electronic tools you can use to automate the standard stuff, allowing you to:

  • Schedule multiple social media posts at one time using apps like Hootsuite
  • Send out regular emails with pre-made templates using MailChimp or Constant Contact
  • Schedule announcements and notifications in your ChMS
  • Establish calendar notifications that trigger follow-up communication
  • Create auto-reply emails for forms, surveys, and sign-ups

In conclusion…

Creating standards, getting people involved, and holding them accountable will take the guesswork out of group communication. You’ll know just what to say, to whom, and when. It starts with determining who will be involved in the conversations. Then you need to decide how your people are interacting on social media, email, texts, with your ChMS, and phone. So don’t be afraid to ask how people prefer to be reached. Once you discover how people are connecting, you can create a calendar and set up automated systems that will keep the communication going. Additionally, each group might utilize different tools to communicate in a way that fits them best. By providing a plethora of good tools to help them get talking, you’ll see a connected church poised for growth. 

Keep in mind, the more people you can get involved in the conversation, the greater your reach will become. Your messages will be heard, participation will increase, your reach will expand, and your influence will grow. Take the time to establish a solid communication strategy and watch your church flourish!

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