A recent blog by Lauren Hunter, of Church Technology Today, outlines the “Three Dangers of Over – Communication That Churches Should Avoid”. At the risk of over-communicating, we think her message is definitely worth repeating.
We couldn’t agree more with Lauren’s observations and suggestions. Notification systems like One Call Now make it so easy to communicate that sometimes organizations, particularly churches, can get a bit over zealous with their communication. After all, most families are getting messages from multiple directions—the school, the PTO, the office, sports teams—the list is endless, or so it seems when you’re on the receiving end of all this outreach.
In addition to Lauren’s great tips, we’d like to add a few that our church notification service clients have provided over the years:
- Tailor your delivery method to the receiver. Older church members may prefer to receive phone calls only when you need to relay important information. Younger congregants are more likely to receive your message if you text it to them (keep in mind that 78% of people 45 years and under are using text messaging). If your message requires a lot of detail, send an email to limit the need of multiple calls and texts. This may seem like a lot of work, but with a service like One Call Now it’s easy. Your contact’s preferences are stored so they get the message on the device and way they prefer every time.
- Target your messages. If you need to change a youth ministry meeting, don’t send the notification to the whole congregation. Use sub-groups to ensure that ALL of your messages are relevant to those that receive them.
- Inform your members. Let your members know how they can replay your message—without calling you back! The last thing you need is a message going out that generates a lot of incoming calls. You’re trying to get your staff off the phone, not answering it. One Call Now message recipients can always replay their message by calling our toll-free number.
- Minimize incoming calls. Another way to minimize incoming calls is to ask for a touch tone response whenever possible instead of asking people to call back to answer a question. For example, instead of saying “let us know if you will be able to attend…” say “press one on your phone if you can attend…” This makes it easy to quickly review the auto-generated message report and see who is coming and who isn’t.