Internal vs. External Audiences
by Rick Guilfoil, Founder/CEO Logixstreet
Churches experience a big challenge when it comes to communicating. There are the members and attenders of their church and then there are the people who have yet to visit the church but may be interested. Unfortunately, each group requires a different message.
Many church websites are set up as internal tools. Content that relates to the constituents and only the constituents. This is understandable because there is a lot to communicate to this group and it is very important. However, someone may visit the site that knows very little about your church trying to get some information that a new person would find useful and are bombarded with info about the next pot-luck dinner or Sunday School class party.
How do you deal with this? Well, I am an advocate of implementing a church management system that will become the insider place to go for info. There are many of them. You can read an article that compares several of them here. The church I attend uses Church Community Builder (CCB). This system allows each person in the church to have a profile that each can manage themselves. For example, my profile has my photo, my phone number and address, it shows the email address I want people to use, and further it categorizes me in the ministries I am involved with. I am part of our worship team and play guitar. If the church needed to make the worship team aware of anything they can easily send us a message that would only go to the Worship team.
Most of these services offer a calendar of events and has the ability to send emails and newsletters to specific groups or the entire congregation. This becomes the go to place for internal communication allowing you to transform your website into a much more visitor friendly site.
Each church is different and I would not go out on a limb and recommend one service over another without knowing the requirements of your particular congregation so I encourage you to visit the link above and read what each offers. I would also encourage most all churches to start using some form of software just to separate the internal and external communications.
What kinds of challenges do you have in this area? Any solutions you have implemented that others would find helpful. Please share these in the comments below.