Are you branding with your email address? If not you are missing and opportunity to better inform your congregation.
Let’s talk about branding in your church in one specific area, outgoing email communications. Let’s assume that I’m a member of your church and that the “live” announcements are given from the stage each week. If I hear: For more information contact Betty Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or John Thomas at email@example.com I really begin to wonder about the communications department and what is really being said?
First, you are saying to your congregation, “it’s not worth the time to set this up properly – or, you don’t really believe in this” Why? You are sending people away from your church website for the information. That is a no-no.
Secondly, it’s the “hope and pray” method. You are hoping that people:
A) email Betty1972@yahooey.com and praying that they –
B) get through to Betty1972
C) Betty1972 responds quickly with the RIGHT information and
D) the member hasn’t inadvertently blocked Betty1972 in their email program and
E) the member actually shows up at the event. It’s a huge diversion to have someone write an email, expect a response back, and hope for the best. Lastly, while you very likely trust Betty1972, you don’t know the tone of her response, how she handles her emails, etc.
Next, how about your guests, what does it say to them? Chances are extremely high that they don’t know Betty or John, let alone have the time to write down their info while the announcements are delivered, remember they’re “live”.
Information distribution can be handled in a much more professional way with little to no cost to your church. Here are a few tips.
First, in the absence of any budget members and guests should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org/com/net. Your office staff should re-direct the incoming emails to the proper staff/volunteer in charge of said event.
Second, with little or no added budget you can add more emails to your website account: Betty@yourchurch.org. Now they can contact Betty, but it’s at your church site, which will likely drive more traffic to your site, and you can see how many people emailed Betty without asking her.
The best way we’ve seen it done: set up a weblink for each ministry – yourchurchSTUDENTS.org, yourchurchMEN.org, yourchurchWOMEN.org etc. It might cost a few bucks a year to buy the link but your congregation will know you’re serious. Why? Because all of the necessary information will be found on the link because as a good communicator, you’ll update your website on a constant basis.
The KISS principle applies when communicating to your congregation: Keep It Simple Stupid. This goes for your actual information as well as HOW your members and guests get the necessary information. Ask your team about this, and give it a try. When you start communicating better, your congregation will notice.