I thought I’d recap and put all the myths into one place.

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What My ChurchIT Guru Taught Me About Communications

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Yo, yo, yo, wassup.

Ahem.

I blogged yesterday how you can get out of the communications rut and tell the same story in an original and imaginative way. (I'm trying to live it out with my blog headlines and the way I write at the moment)

This TV advert for Toyota (below) presents the wagon in a original and imaginative way. (As a parent who owns one, I will now from this day forth call my Toyota bus, my 'swagger wagon') This ad cut through the usual safety, boring people moving advert stereotypes that car companies create. Sure it had lots of product feature shots of the new car, but it made me feel differently about my ride.

It made me:
1) Laugh out loud.
2) B proud of mo swagger wagon rather than think of it as a bus.
3) Imagine myself pimping the bad a$* song with my homies (wife and kids).

Forgive me. The rap lingo is just contagious.

Simply put, Toyota retold the story in a fresh and imaginative way. They got out of the rut.

How are you approaching your communications? Is it in the same way each time? Can you get your creative communications swagger on? that yo mamma can dig?

What would you like to do differently? Drop in a comment and see what happens!

(In lame rap gangsta speak)
Word. This ad is da bomb. Made me wanna get some of that mo of that strategy booty for ma communications crew.

Related Posts
Church Marketing Myth No. 5
Communication Commandment No. 1, No. 9
Rebranding the C Word

You can follow me on Twitter, come and say G'day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you'll have to do the leg work on that one).

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Do you feel like I do sometimes, stuck in a rut? Creatively, conceptually, written or verbally.

Do you find it hard to think of innovative ways to communicate? To move beyond the obvious?

I know I do.

I saw this tweet from Michael Buckingham check out the brilliant picture above.

@holycowcreative
Wow, my boy's all grown up.
Here's how he asked out his prom date.

To stand out from the crowd. To cut through the noise of life sometimes we have to change the way we communicate to our intended audience.

It's not surprising that the young lady Michael's son asked out on the prom said yes (smart girl). Maybe because he's a great looking, funny, smart young man. Or maybe its because he got innovative and entreprenurial in his thinking and broke the mold.

4 creative steps to think outside the shell:

  1. Review and measure the effectiveness of your communication. Are people signing up/on?
  2. Is your primary audience's next step clear? Refine and review how it is working.
  3. Are you asking the question the in the same way as everybody else? How can you say it differently?
  4. Brainstorm 'out of the box' ways to communicate the same proposition. Here is one example.
  5. Do it in a medium your audience would never expect. Do your church video news live as a SNL skit for example.

Is your church stuck in a communications rut?

How is your church breaking the mold in its communications?

What innovative techniques are you using to break out the mold?

I'd love to hear what you think.

Related Posts
Church Marketing Myth No. 5
Communication Commandment No. 1, No. 9
Rebranding the C Word

You can follow me on Twitter, come and say G'day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you'll have to do the leg work on that one).
 

Hillsong is Australia’s largest church and usually gets a hard time from the mainstream media in Australia. Last night Hillsong was featured on national TV on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program. Hillsong’s Senior Pastor, Brian Houston was the main focus of the interview.

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If you are like me and are charged with the weighty responsibility of managing communications around your church, managing your bulletin or any publication can be a test anyones nerves. You will know sinking feeling when the knock comes on your door and the "there's a mistake" For the rest of you enjoy at our suffering.

Yes. One of the top ten is mine and in there (we did catch it in the final proofing). Can you guess which one it is? Leave a comment and I'll announce the winner on Monday 17th May. The winner gets a three dictionary. (I couldn't resist). The winner actually gets a free spell chicker (there I go again). There is no prize. Its just good fun.

Top 10

1) Don't let worry kill you – let the church help. 

2) There has never been a better time to invite your fiends to church.

3) The Senior Choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir. 

4) Evening massage - 6 p.m.

5) Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.

6) At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice. 

7) The 2003 Church Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

8) ''Weight Watchers'' will meet at 7pm in the church hall. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

9) Please remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

10) Prophecy conference cancelled due to unforseen circumstances.

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Sunday's Coming (If You Are Involved In Church You'll Love This)

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How To Avoid A PR Disaster At Your Church: What to do if someone fails.

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Social Media Can Be A Recipe For A PR Disaster

There has been a lot of blogging about the incredible benefits that social media can have for churches. I've blogged about it many times. Its free, churches of any size can get involved. Churches like Saddleback have even set up their congregations for success with training. But there is a new reality that social media brings for all organisations including churches. Below is one example of how social media became a negative rather than a positive communication experience.

Case study: Nestlé vs Greenpeace

Nestlé is the world's largest food and drink company.

Greenpeace alleged:

Nestlé, the world's largest food and drink company, is making some of your favourite chocolate bars using palm oil from destroyed Indonesian rainforests. As a result, threatened species like orang-utans are being pushed into extinction and huge quantities of greenhouse gas are being released, accelerating climate change.

Greenpeace set a media blitz attacking the Corporate Social Responsibility of Nestlé. They created billboards and a short TV commercial which went viral all over the web. They even wrote them an open letter.

Nestlé responded by getting YouTube to take the video down. They denied Greenpeaces allegations and issued a very long and verbose statement on their website. Their Facebook page is full of comments from angry consumers. All a bit miffed by the fact it is going to longer to fully stop using palm oil. They are angry at the pace of change.

People also started to change their facebook profile to protest at the Nestle brand.

The same thing can happen to churches. Just Google Hillsong (or your church for that matter!) and you'll find plenty of nasty things that have been said about them.

Social media has moved the communication goal posts. Your online presence is now a two-way communication, you cannot manage your communication simply by writing a press release or building a website. Any organisation has to be quick and nimble to respond to the immediacy of the world of social media.

What would you do if people said negative things about your church on Facebook?

What would you do if an organisation actively campaign against your church online?

Do you have a strategy prepared?

Are you prepared to respond within hours of an issue presenting itself?

Jesus was used to people having a go at him, should we respond like him?

There are four lessons for churches from this story:

1) How you respond when your reputation is being questioned will impact the perception of whether you are guilty or not guilty in the eyes of the world. Responding with verbose corporate speak that feels like the lawyers have written definitely won't do you any favours.

2) Don't get involved in social media unless you are prepared to take the bad with the good.

3) If you don't have a strategy in place, get one.

4) Be prepared to respond quickly and honestly. Don't leave an empty void for others to fill with opinion.

Thanks to Communicate Jesus for the links and his blog post.

P.S. I'm experimenting with the Facebook 'Like' button. If you think this post is any good could you click it as I'd like to see how it works any what it does. Thanks!

Related posts
How To Avoid A PR Disaster At Your Church: Part 1
Three Lessons Tiger Woods Can Teach You About Communications
Church Marketing Everything
Is Your Perception of Your Church A Deception?
Wanna be like Mike?

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Tips on How To Avoid A PR Disaster At Your Church

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Has the broader church been too focused on it’s brand image rather than its soul?

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