The 2 Types Of Internal Communications You Need To Know

by | Community Blog | 1 comment

Since you are a communications professional, you probably have the opportunity to speak into internal communications (HR).

This area is crucial for the health of your church’s culture. Keeping key people uninformed creates confusion, distrust, and frustration.
But how should you solve this problem? Better yet, what can you do to help those who make these decisions solve the problems?

I’m glad you asked.

You really need a culture of over-communication. People need to hear something seven times before they remember it (now you know why infomercials are somewhat obnoxious). A “once and done” approach, especially in today’s world of constant messaging, simply doesn’t work.

But what does your culture look like? How can you effectively communicate internally to staff, elders, deacons, and lay leaders?

Before I answer that, let’s talk about Disney World.

Specifically, let’s talk about a former Disney executive named Lee Cockerell.

Now retired, Lee was a VP of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts. He is a brilliant leader who is now and author and podcast host. (Definitely worth checking out). While working at Disney, he realized their nearly 60,000 cast members (the Disney term for employees) were communicated to regularly. There wasn’t a way to the c-suite to communicate with everyone.

So he started a weekly newspaper. Someone in the graphics department created the layout, and he recruited people to help him fill the various sections. It included news, updates, and shout-outs to those who did well that week.

It was a big hit. Everyone appreciated knowing what was going on, and it drastically changed the culture.

You don’t need to print a weekly newspaper. Because, like your bulletin, it will wind up in the trash.

Instead, create a weekly email newsletter. Include upcoming events from all ministry areas, and celebrate wins from different areas. Leadership needs to stay aware of what’s happening within the church. Your congregation likely expects leaders to know what’s going on, so give them the information they need to stay up to date.

Here’s a key mistake people make when doing this:

They don’t separate what’s information and what requires input.

For example, in previous roles I’ve sent my supervisors an email with the subject line “No action required on your part. Just FYI.” Then the email contained an update, story, or information my supervisor should be aware of. Since most people associate an email a required action, putting this in the subject line instantly indicated I was aware of his time. And it also showed I wanted him to know something important without requiring him to take action or have an opinion.

Here are 3 steps to get started:

  1. Create an email template that includes sections of information people need to know. You know what fits your culture best, so do that.
  2. Commit to a schedule (Thursday at 1, Friday at 11, etc), then send the first one with an explanation of why this email is important.
  3. Send it. Every. Single. Week.

Over time, you’ll be amazed at how much people like being informed. And they just may start to care about other areas too.