by Troy Page, Unstuck Group Consultant
Why does the communications director always seem to be the busiest person on staff? This has been my experience and possibly it is yours as well. I have found that because our job is to write it, post it, print it, design it and sell it, everything in the church comes across the desk of the communications guy/girl. Creating all of these assets takes loads of time and our level of involvement is unlike that of anyone else on staff.
Here’s the reality, from day-to-day, a church communications leader sits through meeting after meeting talking through how to effectively promote ministry events. Its like acting as an internal consultant who influences the direction of ministry objectives so that they fit vision of the church and effectively connect with the right audience. However, it goes deeper than this. Not only do we help develop and manage great promotional campaigns, we often find ourselves in the deep weeds of planning the event itself. Why? Because we are typically the ones in the room asking the who, what, when, why questions; critical information that is needed to promote the event. We are also the ones in the room with a global perspective and don’t have the tunnel vision that ministry leaders can often have.
I found another dynamic that adds time and stress to the communications role. The closer I get to the event, the more I discover about the leadership and practices of the ministry. I have often uncovered staff issues, volunteer problems, and overall failures of the ministry. With this knowledge, I now have the responsibility to lead through what I know and work through the proper channels to address things as needed. Needless to say, this can be stressful and time consuming when there are so many other things on the plate.
Here are a few tips related to how a communications director can manage time and influence:
- Focus on Global Events – Manage your time by strategically investing in church-wide events/promotions that impact the broader community i.e. sermon series, small groups, volunteering, etc.
- Understand the Vision – Lean in when the pastor talks about vision to get a clear sense of his heartbeat. Let this be your filter to cut away projects that aren’t essential to the vision.
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate – Create margin to lead by outsourcing or delegating graphic design, web development, and social media to contractors and volunteers.
- Avoid Additional Responsibilities – When you discover trouble spots in a ministry, work through the proper channels and let the supervisor deal with the issues. It’s not your responsibility to fix everything that’s not working in the church.
- Give Yourself Permission to Say No – Create a communication path for ministries in the church to promote their initiatives and set proper expectations. Let them know you’ll have to say no to many things.
In addition to our existing consulting services, our team would love to talk to you about reviewing your church’s communications systems: staffing, website, graphic design, branding, social media and messaging to help you create a strategic communications structure and plan. Contact us if you would like to find out more information.
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