Clear communication sets the stage for successful engagement. It is therefore crucial that you make the time to take a thorough look at whether your communication process is effective in engaging people to serve and get involved, or not.
A healthy system adheres to a regular rhythm, is attentive to current events and changing needs, and inspires active and regular participation. It also has a strong online presence and communicates via the most popular websites and social-media platforms.
A well-planned communication process is valuable for keeping members informed, included, engaged, and in welcoming new or prospective church members. For communication to be effective it has to be clear, concise and compelling so that people know what is happening and how to respond in a timely manner.
How can you measure the effectiveness of your church communication process? The answer is a communication audit.
What is a communication audit process?
In simple terms an audit is a clear assessment of what you communicate and how it is done. It is an honest review of what works and what doesn’t. This is important as it allows you to make the right improvements.
While anyone in leadership can perform an audit, it is essential that you have a clear audit plan and establish who will oversee and participate in it. It is also important to determine who will be in charge of setting goals and making changes afterwards based on the audit findings.
Streamline your audit process with these 5 steps:
1. List all the ways in which you communicate
Make your list as detailed as possible. Include items like bulletins, newsletters, website, email, social media, text messages, signage, small groups, and church management software. This will help you identify all the channels you are currently using to communicate.
2. Identify who oversees each channel
Every communication channel needs someone in charge of collecting and sharing information. Without this person the channel cannot succeed. Some churches have communication coordinators on staff while others rely on volunteers. Clarifying this will help you identify who to contact to communicate through a specific channel and which areas still need an overseer.
3. Determine what works
Take a critical look at your communications process and determine which areas still show lack or which ones show growth. Also establish which channels have a stronger engagement and find the pattern that identify why it works so that you may implement it in your other channels. Ask yourself why it works better. Is it the way you share it or does the key lie in what you share? This will undoubtedly help you focus your attention on the channels that are successful and enable you to improve on those that aren’t yet yielding the desired results.
4. Establish what does not work
It may be time to ask some tough questions. Take a hard look at what is not working and ask whether those channels are still needed. Does it need more attention or does it need a different leader? What have you learned from assessing the other channels that could help you improve on these? Being realistic about the results will help you determine whether you should retire a specific channel or make specific changes.
5. Set measurable improvement goals
The goal of this audit is to improve your overall communication. It is the responsibility of the leadership to look at the results and set a course for action. Measure your audit findings against what needs the most improvement and what fits your church vision. Then start setting measurable goals to work towards within a specific timeline.
An audit takes time and effort but doing the hard work now will pay off and result in a growing church that spreads their message loud and clear.