7 Reasons Why Your Church Needs A Communications Schedule

Steve Fogg —  January 17, 2013 — 9 Comments

church communications schedule

It’s a Monday morning. The Sunday service was brilliant, high fives were being given out all around. Everything seemed to go as you thought it would. Until that moment when your colleague, or even worse, your boss walks into your office and says ‘why didn’t we promote/talk about this yesterday?’

You just want the a hole in the ground to open up and swallow you up. You feel your face becoming flushed, a hundred excuses come to the tip of your tongue and your memory for some strange reason finds that this is the perfect time to replay that conversation you had about what they wanted to promote in your mind.

Ever been there? 

No? Hopefully I can help you avoid this embarrassing scenario. Note, if you don’t adopt a strategy of scheduling in some way, you are on a crash course to wrecking your communications. Someone once said “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This is a timeless truth is so spot on because I’ve been there and experienced it!

Enter stage right, the superhero to the rescue. By day, some call it a spreadsheet, by night some call it a Superhero Church Communications Plan, or Church Promotional Plan, I simply call it a communications schedule. My communications team has this one schedule because ensures that we are all on the same page and know what’s coming up in the weeks and months to come at church. It means that we miss nothing.

The communications schedule covers every channel we manage for the church. It includes video, printed & email news, blog posts, social media, public relations. You name it. We have a schedule for it. Our video guy knows what to shoot for the news this week because it’s on the schedule. My Communications Manager knows what scripts and blog posts need writing because, wait for it, it’s on the schedule.

You get the drift.

You don’t have to just work at a church to benefit from using a communications schedule, any non-profit of business can create one and leverage it to ensure the right messages get delivered across the right channels.

Here are the seven reasons why you need a communications schedule:

1. You’ll never forget anything again. Ever. Pinky promise. ;-)

2. It allows your mind to be free from the clutter of “I must remember this or that”. You are now free to dream, imagine and create.

3. If you fall under a bus today, life and the next Sunday service can keep going ;-)

4. It free’s you from the ‘you never told me that’ cop-out. The responsibly falls on everyone’s shoulders because everyone who needs to know has access to it.

5. When you see communication overload you can say ‘sorry, no’ we are at the limit.

6. You will sleep better at night. No more waking up in the middle of the night ‘oh no!’ moments. That’s a promise.

7. See boss walks into your office story at the top of this post :-) No more of that!

Tools of the trade

Some use fancy scheduling tools like Basecamp, but you can also use Google Docs, Excel or even the good old whiteboard. You can use almost anything. My only premise would be – Can everyone who needs to get access to it see it whenever or wherever they are?

In the spirit of sharing, I’ve created a 2013 Church Communications Schedule Template for you to use. It’s an Excel file which includes all of the channels I’ve listed above and every week in 2013 is also listed. It’s completely editable and adaptable for your context.

Download it here –> 2013 Comms Schedule_template. (I don’t ask often at all, but if you find this a useful tool can you share it on your social networks)

Your turn

Do you schedule your promotions/communications? What are the tools that you use?

P.S. Kem Meyer shares some great ideas about communications emphasis in my interview with her which complements this post.

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Related posts:

  1. 3 Ways To Create A Church Communications Calendar On A Shoestring Budget
  2. What A Typical Week Looks Like As A Church Communications Director
  3. 6 Reasons Why Your Church Needs A Social Media Calendar [with a free template]
  4. One Common Mistake That Can Wreck Your Creative Communications

9 responses to 7 Reasons Why Your Church Needs A Communications Schedule

  1. We live and breathe by our Communications schedule. We just use a shared excel document, and plan everything from bulletins to email newsletter to videos…pretty much everything. Like you said, it’s a great tool to make sure everything is organized and helps us say no when ministries want their event promoted in everything.

  2. Thanks for this useful post Steve. Your schedule template is very useful and is similar in many ways to what I use myself (though rotated by 90 degrees).

    I have been using a Google Docs spreadsheet for a year now and have found this useful as it can be shared easily (view only mode: http://goo.gl/6LHW7).

    This really helps you see what’s coming up and how much time is left to organise things. I based the design on a spreadsheet I’d seen before, though unfortunately I’ve forgotten the original source.

  3. Wonderful! I just shared this on our Region Facebook page (which won’t show up as a link from this post) for our pastors to read. Thanks for the great template and your clear direction.

  4. Steve,

    Great article and resource. Appreciate your focus on clarity

  5. Great article and very helpful, but I cannot get the precious template to download. Any help?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Church Websites: Jesus is king, but content is important | St. Eutychus - January 31, 2013

    [...] slightly more flexible weekly or fortnightly schedule for some reactive things. Steve Fogg has this cool template for church communications planning that’s worth using at this point. I’ll be putting together something like this with three different columns dedicated to blog [...]

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