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Building a communications plan for your parish

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By on September 1, 2021

In our increasingly digital world, filled with so many diverse messages, a communications strategy for your parish is essential to ensure that your messaging reaches your audiences, is clear, and reflects your mission. An effective communication strategy will.

  • Ensure consistent messaging
  • Keep messages aligned with your parish’s vision
  • Engage audiences (both internal and external)

Here are some questions to ask to get started to build your communications strategy:

What kind of communication does your congregation prefer?  For example, are reminders and updates sent by email effective?

What channels of communication get a better response? For example, do text messages perform better than phone calls?

When is the best time to send messages for maximum impact? For example, instead of reaching out just on Sundays, will a middle of the week text, email, or social media post improve engagement?

By considering the answers to these questions, you will have some helpful information to begin developing a communication plan that is aligned with your parish’s mission and vision.

Communications options to consider

Before building a communication strategy, it is important to understand the church communications options that are available. Knowing what they are and understanding how they can impact your audiences will help you craft a more effective communications plan.

There are two kinds of church communications to consider.

Internal communication is all communication that is focused on keeping church members informed, engaged, and involved. Internal church communications include updates to the congregation, pastoral communications, and communications with volunteers.  Internal communications channels include texts, emails, phone calls, announcements, and so on.

External communication is all communication that is focused on reaching audiences outside of your congregation. It aims to promote the church and its events to the outside world giving it more visibility and boosting new member registration.  Examples of external communications include social media updates about events, advertising, updates on the church website, and so on.  Typical external communication channels are social media, website, signage and posters, and word of mouth.

A good church communication strategy strikes a balance between both forms of communication and uses storytelling to present compelling and consistent messaging. Here are some links to help you to begin developing your parish’s plan:

Compiled by Jane Scanlon, from CallHub

Author

  • Jane Scanlon

    Jane Scanlon is Director of Communications and Stewardship Development and can be contacted at 613-232-7124 ext. 225

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