Every church communications team struggles with deciding which event or ministry receives which type of promotion. Should the ladies Bible study have a promotional video and stage announcement? What about the young adult movie night?
The goal in church communications is to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. We must remember—the more you talk, the less people listen. This also rings true for church announcements. The more events you promote on a Sunday, the less important each event becomes. So how do you find the balance between providing the right promotion and creating too much noise?
Church Communications Triage
Hospitals and the military have been using triages for years to determine priorities in critical, high-stress situations. A clearly defined church communications triage based on scope and impact will help simplify communication decisions, separate emotional attachments to a particular ministry, and assist teams as they develop a clear promotional strategy for each event.
Scope A encompasses church events that include 80% or more of the congregation. This would include family fun days, connection groups, Mother’s Day, baptisms, etc. Items in Scope A receive full promotion including a promotional video, pastoral announcements, and printed material.
Scope B includes events that affect 50% of your church family. A women’s event, daddy-daughter dance, and men’s cookout are just a few examples. In this situation, the communications team works closely with ministry leaders to coordinate the promotion of these events and provide space on the church website, social media, and other channels.
Scope C represents a targeted, more specific audience. Promotion for these events is most effective on the grassroots level with personal invitations and contact but need congregational awareness. The ministry leadership carries the primary responsibility for promoting these events with support from the communications team. Examples include High School hangouts, boys camping trips, or senior excursions.
While Scopes A-C focus on internal church events, often churches have events with city, regional, or national impact and an external scope. This would include church conferences, city outreaches, etc. In this situation, you want to go all-out with buy-in from the whole church and expanded promotion which includes paid advertisements on social media, billboards, radio, television, and other communication channels.
A Church Communication Triage will help you answer, “Why didn’t my event get a promotional video?” with a solid response based on scope and impact. As you plan church promotions, always keep your audience in mind. What is the pertinent information? Am I providing too much information? Remember, the more we talk, the less they hear!