Communication Commandment No. 9: Thy shalt Measure, Measure, Measure
Isn’t it interesting how while we’re happy to spend hours developing a variety of methods of communication, planning them, executing them, printing, editing and designing and yet we forget to check if they actually work.
Someone once said to me, “You must inspect what you expect”. Wise words, and they really go to the heart of determining our effectiveness as communicators; we must measure what we do!
So here’s five key things to do in your pursuit of excellence:
1. Know where you’re going
Establish what goals you are pursuing for each area you are communicating. Are you trying to increase attendance at an event, are you trying to build increase giving for your missions project, or anything else? These are usually set by your leaders, so know what these are and you can play a part in achieving them.
2. Know where you are
Establish the starting point from which you measure from. It’s hard to ask for a 50% increase in home group attendance if you don’t know how many attend now! There are lots of sources for this information, and I can’t stress the importance of keeping good statistics on all the key areas you want to measure. You may need to do a church wide survey to get some of this baseline information too. Marry this with your anecdotal information and knowledge and you have a powerful starting block. One more thing, if you ever say or hear someone say, “I reckon…” then they probably don’t know and are making it up!
3. Build good feedback channels
Statistical analysis and measurement is not something that rings my bells and I’m sure there are some of you that may have fallen asleep at the thought of looking at stats! So staff it! There is someone in your team, or your church who loves this stuff, so find them, engage them, educate them and empower them to be your guru of measurement.
4. Failure is not a dirty word
I’m not talking about abject failure, but you won’t get it right every time and if you do you’re either a genius or deluded! Test and measure is a key part of refining your communications to hit your targets. Measurement is important because it gives you feedback mechanisms that drive constant improvement. If it’s not working, change it. If it is working, improve it.
5. Celebrate your success
There’s no point in achieving your goal if you don’t party once you get there! Celebrate your successes, thank your team, and gear up for the next challenge.
So, if you’re thinking this is all a chore, it is. But so is brushing your teeth. So measure well and regularly to make sure you don’t have to have a communication root canal!
Read the other commandments
5th Communication Commandment Guest Post By Shawn Wood
8th Communication Commandment Guest Post by Kerry Bural
Matthew Fletcher has spent the last 20 years delighting in great church communication. With a background in graphic design, marketing and public relations, he now consults to not for profits and churches in communication and organisational strategy. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.