Does your communications strategy need a refresh? Or do you just need an outside perspective on where to focus your efforts?

We’re all still feeling the impact Covid left on our churches. It was such a pivotal moment and most have not been the same since.

Think back to March 2020 (shudders) - you and your church are in your flow, attendance is steady, communication is on target - then, BAM, overnight everything changes. Online became the only way to do church and everyone was left to sink or swim. Many churches shifted everything they did literally overnight and it was inspiring to see. At first, attendance was higher than it had been in the previous decade. People all over the globe were flocking to be part of an online church experience. But as the weeks passed, this phenomenon started to fade and we began to see a huge shift in culture. When churches opened back up there was renewed hope, but people didn’t come back the way we all thought they would. And then we were all left wondering “What now?”  

Some churches decided to remain exclusively online, others refocused all of their attention to the in-person experience, many have a hybrid focus of both providing ministry online and in-person, while others weren’t sure what to do and felt as confused as ever. What we found is that nearly everything changed for our churches and now most of them are reassessing their entire communications strategy … which is a huge undertaking. 

At Fishhook, we’ve worked with several churches recently on Communications Assessments.

You might be wondering what a communications assessment is and how it can help your church. We’ve been doing more of these with churches to help them discover (or re-discover) their brand identity, update their messaging, utilize new methods of communication, and fine tune their processes. Here are the four main areas we assess:

    1. Strategic Communications - to ensure you are communicating with your specific audiences in mind, a unified voice and mission-focused messaging.
    2. Brand Identity - to experience and review your first-time guest experience, to review your overall visual identity and print materials to ensure they consistently are sharing your church’s distinct story and engaging with others to help them take next steps. 
    3. Communications Systems - to strengthen your internal communications and communications processes as a staff team and with key leaders/volunteers. Internal Communications & Communications Processes
    4. Digital Tools - to enhance how you are communicating digitally through your website, social media and through all digital content/channels to connect with both your congregation and community.

Getting a communications assessment for your church will help identify key areas for improvement and will include a number of strategically designed coaching sessions to provide helpful guidance to keep you moving forward. But, how do you know if your church is in need of a communications assessment?

Here are 10 telltale signs you might need a communications assessment:

  1. Ineffectiveness in reaching your congregation. If the church notices a decline in attendance, engagement during services or events, open rates of emails, website or social media views, or anything similar, it could indicate a need to assess communication methods.
  2. Lack of response to communications. If the church is not receiving meaningful feedback or responses to its messages, it might signal that the communication strategies are not resonating with the congregation.
  3. Confusion or miscommunication. If there are repeated instances where important information is misunderstood or not properly communicated, it may be time to evaluate the church's communication channels and methods.
  4. New challenges or change. When the church undergoes significant changes, such as a leadership transition or a relocation, it's a good opportunity to assess how communication is adapting to these changes.
  5. Technological advancement. As technology evolves, it's essential to ensure that the church is using the most effective and up-to-date communication tools to reach its members.
  6. Lack of integration. This is one we see often - silos. If the church's communication efforts seem disjointed or uncoordinated, it may be a sign that it’s time to streamline processes and create a more cohesive communication plan.
  7. Negative feedback from members. If you’re hearing more about the “issues” of your church than about what God is doing through your church, that’s a sure sign it’s time to take action. There may be multiple factors at work that need to be addressed, however, more clear and compelling communications can be an important part of the solution. 
  8. Changing demographics. If the church's demographics have evolved over time, it may require adjustments to communication styles to better engage with the current congregation.
  9. Low engagement on social media and website. A lack of interaction and engagement on social media platforms or the church's website could indicate the need for an assessment to improve content and outreach.
  10. Lack of awareness in the community. If the church finds that it is not effectively reaching out to and connecting with the broader community, it might be time to reevaluate its communication strategies.

If you or your church are experiencing any or all of these signs, we’d love to partner with you on a Communications Assessment.

We know that God is doing amazing things in and through your church and we’d love to work with you so your people and the community can learn more and be part of it too!