Church Communications Strategies During Social Distancing – Interview with Kem Meyer
Church Communications Strategies
Kem Meyer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and consultant who brings decades of experience in marketing, branding, and communications to the table to help leaders and organizations create less noise and less chaos so they can create more meaningful encounters and build relationships that last.
In an interview hosted by Horizons Stewardship, Kem discusses why senior leaders need to be engaged in shaping a communications strategy right now and what are the practical next steps they need to take.
Watch the interview now.
Communication is as much about what needs to be said as it is about what is heard. Kem believes this is an incredible opportunity for churches to stop doing unproductive things and start communicating in productive ways that connect with the congregation and community at large in meaningful ways. While Kem doesn’t know what the lasting implications of social distancing will have on local church ministry, she does know that the church leaders who invest in building their communication muscles today will build momentum and create new ministry opportunities in the days ahead.
Here are some of the most important learnings from Kem’s insights.
What are the biggest mistakes churches are making right now?
- Maintaining business as usual. Acting as if nothing has changed is wrong.
- Doing too much. Your people don’t need more content. They want more comfort, pastoral care, and reminders of hope.
- Creating a pace you can’t maintain. Consistency is more important than frequency. Also, quality is still more valuable than quantity.
- Talking to people rather than with people. You’re not speaking from the platform. Treat your online communication—particularly streaming right now—as if you are sitting across from someone over a cup of coffee.
What should churches be doing right now related to a communication strategy during social distancing?
- Put everything you were doing before on pause. Only re-activate what is most essential right now. Consider using Kem’s decision-making tree to support your planning efforts.
- Decide to focus on what’s essential. People are still in “shock and awe” and trying to re-orient around this new reality. They don’t have the cognitive ability to process all the information on your church’s website right now.
- Simplify your church’s website. Consider adding a single page with just a few links that let people know you are there for them and how they can get help if they need it.
- Help people know how they can be part of meeting the needs of your community. Activate your church members by providing them a way to be part of the solution. Everyone wants to feel like they can make a difference.
- Show people life change. People are always inspired by seeing other people overcome life’s challenges, especially through faith. You can’t do enough of this.
- Recognize people are connecting with your church locally and potentially from around the country for the first time. This is an unbelievable opportunity for people in your community, across the country, or around the world to plug into the content you’re sharing. Give people a way to plug in through email, social media, or other channels to help deepen the new relationship over time.
- Give people ways for them to connect with you right now. It’s possible someone just needs someone to pray with them or even simply listen. Make it easy for people to get pastoral care and request other kinds of help during this challenging season.
People Won’t Forget
People will not forget how your church shows up in the midst of COVID-19 and social distancing. They may not remember everything you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Be intentional with your communications strategy. Use this time to try new ways of engaging people and look for insights and learnings that will help inform your thinking as we come back to a new reality when this time of social distancing is finally over.
To access more expert interviews and resources on effectively leading through COVID-19, sign up for Giving365 (Horizons’ free on-demand resource library).