As I’ve written the last few posts about church announcements, it’s become obvious that we’re working towards a way of thinking about our publicity that tries to be clean, simple, and serve people helpfully. Here are the key elements.
The paper calendar
The process began with a deep dissatisfaction with our Term card. It was basically A3, folded down multiple times to A6, so it was bulky – and expensive to design and produce.
So we started with a different question: what is the least information we need to give, to function well. And we are trialling a new model now, that is small and clean. Gone is the information bloat: instead there is space for three or four major items that people need to know about this month, and the same next month. There’s something about the teaching series, and our regular weekly pattern.
And that’s it. There’s room for more on the website.
Each card contains information about the next two months, and it will be replaced monthly. In other words, we are always giving people five to six weeks notice, on a rolling pattern throughout the year.
The backroom strategy
So, we are starting to map out a six week communication strategy. Each event has its own little schedule: when do fliers go out? When do bookings open? What’s the weekly email message? Do any particular groups need to be targeted with more focussed emails, like parents, or small group leaders? And when does it get its Sunday to shine up front, as the solo star?
And, we know there are major exceptions. Really big items like a weekend away need more than one mention up front, and more than six weeks notice. Evangelistic courses need to be mentioned often and carefully. This year we tried publishing a glossy magazine at Christmas, to introduce the whole of 2019; we shall have a revised version of that again this year, because it gives room for stories and announcements.
Now, as I say, we are trialling this, and we have a host of questions. Will people use the little calendars? Is this too minimalist an approach? Will it save money or cost more?
But the question we are trying to answer is one I know you face too:
How do you communicate well, in a busy church, with most people attending every two-to-three weeks?
Solve that, and you’ve made the better mousetrap.