I talk to a lot of organizational leaders about their communication challenges. One of the most common things I hear is, "People don't read email!"
Better communication leads to deeper communion. Here are some tips and tools to help (including the use of email, texting, social media and uncommon sense).
Here are the most recent (2011-2013) stats on new media usage for Americans. They should be both helpful and motivating in formulating your communications strategy for your organization:
The limited format for things like texting, Facebook and Twitter has required us all to say what we need to say in a much shorter space. Critics say this has resulted in a "dumbed-down" form of communication.
It's easy to understand their sentiment when we see how many dumb things are said through these media. However, in another sense, the critics have it backwards.
A lot of churches and other organizations used to use some kind of "email marketing" tool (Constant Contact is the one most people have heard of). Now they use Flocknote.
Here are some of the reasons why they made the switch to Flocknote:
1. Flocknote is focused on communication, engagement and relationships - not just marketing.
We work with a lot of churches, ministries, groups, teams and other organizations who are trying to connect with their members. They create simple email and text message lists (like we provide here at Flocknote), Facebook fan pages, twitter accounts and websites.
As you know, here at Flocknote we like to keep things simple. And not just because simple is easy, but because simple is powerful. And it lets your reader focus on your message (which is the point of the email in the first place).
When you send out a Note on Flocknote, you have the choice to post it in a basic format or a "newsletter" format. The newsletter format lets you put your own image banner across the entire top of your email.
If I were listening to your organization, would I come away thinking it was all about you?
Whether it's your website, your email list, your social media presence, your bulletin, or whatever, it can't be all about you. And if you make it all about you, then you will be the only one actually listening in the end.
Today I've got some great theology of communication for you. Brandon Vogt recently got to interview Archbishop Celli at the Catholic Media Conference. I was actually standing with him when he did this interview and had a great time at the conference (where we presented a large sampling of our Digital Church Conference).
In my experience, the #1 problem with how organizations communicate (especially churches) has nothing to do with their use (or lack) of new technologies. It's that they don't take the time to write short things...so they write long ones instead.
If you want an easy, affordable, efficient and familiar way to directly send out information and keep your parishioners up to date — your #1 best option is email. Hands down. Social media and texting are great, too. But far more people in your parish have access to email (and are comfortable using it) than anything else. That's where parishioners are at right now. And that's where we'll be at for years to come (with Text Messaging catching up, then social media - depending on your particular demographic).