A Communications Process Like Good Coffee
I don’t know anything about coffee except that if it’s supposedly really good and that it takes about a week to make with what appears to be the chemistry set from a mad scientist’s garage sale. I work with coffee snobs that go on and on about the quality of coffee, but at the end of the day, it still all tastes like someone left a cigarette in a cup of water overnight to me.
But I don’t have to like coffee to appreciate the process. I hear coffee snobs talk about equipment and the beans themselves, but unless you go through the proper process, it all tastes like an elderly waitress from the Waffle House infused her smoker’s breath with the beans.
Too far? Meh.
Every good communications department strives to have a solid process for taking requests, processing them, and delivering quality work while leading your church to communicate well. Here’s ours…
Notice that we give a visual for our workflow so that it’s very clear what’s happening behind the scenes. Many departments like to think that once something is submitted that they’re done and they should expect what they’ve requested to magically pop out of the communications toaster by the due date. But we know better.
We’ve defined as many hypothetical situations as we could with our timelines chart, but it’s not exhaustive. We made sure to let them know that the longer you hold on to a proof, the longer your timeline gets. That’s why we asked for a 24 hour turnaround time on approving proofs.
Notice that we’ve also defined a week, asked for a 24 hour processing time before work begins, and that we’ve alerted them that we don’t accept incomplete comms requests. Muy importante.
We use several tools to streamline our workflow and these seem to work for us. No workflow is perfect, but these help us communicate internally pretty well. We’re also careful not to just keep trying new tools and starting over. That can be frustrating.
This is our task manager. Our project manager lives in this program and it (and she) seriously keeps us working on the right things. Otherwise, who knows what ridiculous thing we’d be working on?
We’ve experimented with Google Forms and Typeform (which I looooove), but we’re in super deep with Wufoo forms all over our website. This is the tool we use to take comms requests (any internal request, really), conduct surveys, or collect prayer requests.
Our internal team chat and file sharing program. The channel we use most on Slack is called #proofing, where designers can drop their designs for approval and feedback without everyone having to get up and go to their office. It’s also nice because it integrates with Asana and Google Drive pretty seamlessly.
I’m such a fan of GSuite for email, drive, Team Drive, calendar, slides, etc. It’s well worth the price to get your whole church on one system.
Check out the upcoming episode 48 of The Seminary of Hard Knocks when my guest, Darrel Girardier of Brentwood Baptist joins me and lines out his entire communications process in detail!
What is your biggest comms process question? Sound off in the comments or join the conversation in The Seminary of Hard Knocks Facebook group. Thanks for reading!
Next week’s podcast features Darrel G where you can hear his process at Brentwood for another perspective with tons of ideas.