10 Crucial questions about church communication: 6-10
Photo by Johan Larsson on Flickr. "A recurring piece of feedback – ChurchInsight is easy to use".
Last week we put ChurchInsight to the test by seeing how the church website platform matches up to the excellent 10 Questions to Ask About Your Church’s Communications.
So far we have survived – but the grilling is not over yet. There are five more questions to be answered about how to keep your church staff up to speed with changing technology, how to budget for communication costs, and how to make sure that people don’t fall through the net when they encounter your church.
6. What are the technological competencies of our communications staff? Are we investing in that?
Many churches depend on a mix of trained staff and volunteers. Technology changes so fast that even the up-to-date teams need to be agile to keep up.
We designed (and keep developing) ChurchInsight to do the hard work for you. The central admin hub can be accessed by staff and volunteers from anywhere over the Internet – but only at the level that you want to give to each one. Once they are in there, they follow instructions and push the right buttons – and before you know it, you’ll have the most technologically timid individuals publishing content and sending out communications.
The last time we did a survey of our customers, one of the recurring pieces of feedback they gave us was “ChurchInsight is easy to use”. And for all of the main functions it is. We still offer training though. If you want to invest in your staff and volunteers to get them mastering even the more advanced aspects of ChurchInsight, our training courses are designed for exactly that.
With ChurchInsight you don’t need to invest in an IT department or manager. People will come and go in your church but your central system will remain the same.
7. Are we making knee-jerk and last-minute decisions related to communication that could lead to over-spending and poor spending?
This might happen in a church where communication is a low priority or the strategy is not clear. We have designed a system that can serve most communication strategies, however complex or simple. That’s because the many different features of ChurchInsight are included in your website. If you only want to use a few, it works just as well.
As for solid, predictable spending, the cost of ChurchInsight is a monthly subscription. This means you don’t have large up-front costs, that spending is level and easy to budget, and that you benefit from new releases as we continually develop and improve the system.
8. How much are we investing, through communication, to strengthen relationships with families?
This is something of a leading question (especially if you read the full version). But one thing we can say for ChurchInsight is that if you split your website costs down to per user or per family, it is only pennies each.
For those pennies, families can keep in touch with church activities and with each other through the social aspects of ChurchInsight. You can create areas of the site for different age groups and activities as necessary.
9. What inexpensive or no-cost ways are we exploring to communicate with people?
The joy of a ChurchInsight database is that members keep their own details up to date. That removes the time and (cost) consuming task from the staff of having to maintain contact details. It is easy to add and remove people, and for individuals to set their own preferences for communication.
The mailing feature itself is simple to master. There is a mailing wizard with a few, straightforward steps to help you to shape and deliver each mail campaign.
10. What systems are in place to quickly build one-to-one and one-to-few relationships with people at the front doors and ministry entrances to our church?
Firstly, we’ve already pointed out that people usually go to a church’s website first, way before they visit. ChurchInsight presents a customised views to new visitors, which can show them the information they need, and encourage attendance or sign up. Each church can create a new visitor area to provide whatever they think their curious users are looking for.
Secondly, the database behind the website is there for you to add peoples’ details to – not just when you’re in the office, but from anywhere. There is a conferencing mode to take bookings and track attendance if you want to step it up a gear.
Thirdly, we are currently developing a visitor tracking feature, that more explicitly allows you to capture visitor details and mark people for follow up. Keep an eye on the blog – we’ll be introducing it soon. It will be less likely than ever that any new person should fall through the net, and also be easier for new people to express what they want from your church and your website.
Phew! We made it to the end of the 10 gruelling questions. The ways that we communicate have changed beyond recognition as the social possibilities of the World Wide Web have taken off in the last few years. Churches may feel behind the curve, but we have designed ChurchInsight to help them make the most of the new communication landscape.
Thanks to Scott Vaughn for the sharp questions. Why not put ChurchInsight to the test yourself with a free demo?
Adam Johannes, 05/01/2012