Posts by Tag

see all
Search post

How do you know your communications is working? Or the time I almost spit on a Pastor.


"How do you know communication is working?"

I was at a restaurant recently, helping a church communications team develop a communications strategy. One of the church's pastors asked an excellent question that nearly caused a spit-take from me.

"How do you know communication is working?"

It's a basic question, with profound implications. How does one know if they've effectively communicated something? As communicators, how are we successful? I stammered, "Well, in context of social media you measure your effectiveness by engagement... clicks, like, comments, responses... that's your win."

The Pastor continued on, pressing for a much different answer: "Don't just think social media. In general, how do you know when you've succeeded communicating something?"

I replied, with due respect (making sure I swallowed the Sprite I was drinking): "In communication, you've succeeded when the person you're communicating to can tell you what you communicated."

This probably isn't an earth-shattering concept for us as communicators. When we communicate does our audience understand what we are communicating enough to say it back? Does it stick in their psyche? Do they understand the concepts as well as the details enough to champion this idea? Did we succeed in planting the idea into their mind? Does the audience understand the why?

If your audience understands, then you've succeeded. Congratulations.

If the audience doesn't understand, then there's a problem.

  1. The problem is the audience! As communicators this is likely our first thought. "It's the audience's fault." And, while convenient, this is rarely the situation.
  2. The problem is the presentation! Essentially, how the idea is being communicated doesn't vibe with the audience. Go back to the drawing board and try again. Try simpler words, different mediums or communication channels! 
  3. inception13The problem is the concept! The concept needs to be simple enough to explain. (If you've seen Christopher Nolan's Inception, you understand this.) Is the concept understandable? Or is it overly complex?

Remember, it's rarely just one of the above problems. More likely it's a little bit of multiple pieces.

Our job as communicators is to separate our communication from the other noise out there. Are we succeeding?


Do you need help developing a communications strategy for your church and non-profit? We would love to help. Find out how. Click the button.

Making Content, or Making Disciples
What My Mother Can Teach You About Online Small Groups

About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.

Related Posts
The Secret Weapon to Growing Your Church in a Digital Age
EP214: Mark MacDonald & Creating Your Church's Content Strategy
Why Your Church Website Needs An Overhaul


Subscribe To Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates