Editor’s Note: Our 10-year anniversary series has been asking experts if church marketing still sucks. Today we hear from Kem Meyer, the communications director at Granger Community Church, author of Less Clutter. Less Noise. and one of our former board members. This discussion continues all month, so check out the other posts and share your thoughts. We’re also giving away copies of Kem’s Communications Playbook, so stick around.
New level, new devil. (See what I did there? What better way to answer this question about bad communication in churches than to use a classic Christian cliché?) Yes, we’ve come a long way in the past 10 years.
Where It’s Working
We’ve got better:
- Design Tools – We’re budgeting for today’s technology and the right licensing to create professional work.
- Skills – In churches of all shapes and sizes, we’re empowering leaders as communication advocates. Someone has their eye on the ball!
- Peer Networks – We’re partnering with other professionals in the creative, technology and design world to leverage the best minds and most effective strategies.
All in all, I cringe about 75% less when I visit churches (or their websites) in 2014 than I did in 2004. A decreasing cringe factor—that’s a measurable win!
But, our work is not done.
Where We Need Work
We still suck in:
- Self-Control – Just because we can design a logo or create a video, doesn’t mean we should. We still have a tendency toward overkill. We fall in love with our own work. We’re unable to “kill our darlings.”
- Our Perspective – We talk about promotions and branding interchangeably when we refer to “church communications.” These terms aren’t synonymous and they don’t encompass the totality of communication. We can do better sequencing our communications and defining the win for each stop along the way; before, during and after an event or campaign.
- Prioritizing – We’ve got a mob of skilled and talented professionals who are eager and willing to execute the plan. But, we still seem to be short on “master plans.” A majority of churches have communication stakeholders operating in a defensive position, frantically working to keep up with the demand to create more, more, more. We need more “architect” leaders who can write the plan and call the plays. Without someone operating in an offensive position, anticipating the need and getting ahead of the calendar, we’re missing opportunities and wasting resources. We create a lot of output, but would be hard pressed identifying the desired outcome.
The Next 10 Years
What’s next? If we want people to buy the product, we can’t shortcut the process. My friend, Blaine Hogan, published a phenomenally uncomfortable book: Untitled: Thoughts on the Creative Process. To kick off our next 10 years, I submit it should be required reading for every communications and creative professional. In it, he quotes Dan Allender: “You have absolutely no business taking us to places youʼre unwilling to go yourself.” Ouch. Yep, we’ve got some work to do. Let’s go.
Does Church Marketing Still Suck?
Your turn: Do you think church marketing still sucks? Share your thoughts in the comments and be entered to win a copy of Kem’s Communications Playbook. It’s based on the communications manual at Granger and geared to give you insights into how to lead communications at your church. Three winners will get a copy of the Communications Playbook.
Post a comment below answering the question, “Does church marketing still suck?” We’ll draw three winners at random on Friday, July 25 to receive a free copy of the book. One entry per person, legit email required so we can deliver the goods.
Congrats to our winners: Jon, Sarah & Designut!
What do you think: Does church marketing still suck?