Several people have recently asked me “What exactly does a Director of Communication do?” Many people mistake that your role is limited to graphic design, the web or the Sunday bulletin. I have several answers I use in an attempting to clarify the role.
Here are my three favorites.
Communications = Marketing
In the business world, they use the term “Marketing”. In the church world, they use “Communications.” The Director of Communications is the marketing arm of the church, responsible for the overall branding of the church when it comes to print, video, the web, social media, PR, etc.
In the same way, it would be foolish for a business not to consult their marketing department before coming out with a new product, churches would be wise to consult their Communications Department before launching a new event, program or ministry. If they are doing their job correctly, a Communications Department can be a great “in-house consultant” by offering event and ministry branding as well as suggesting creative ways to ensure maximum visibility to the target audience.
Megaphone of the Church
The Communications Director is the megaphone of the church. Their job is not to make up the message…just say it louder. While they can help craft and polish the verbiage once it has been determined, it is critical that Senior Leadership (especially the Senior Pastor) buys in.
If you aren’t clear on what you are trying to communicate, neither can I. The saying is still true, “If it’s foggy from the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pew.” The last thing you want is the Communications Department blowing smoke.
Air Traffic Controler
The Director of Communication’s job is to see all the communications needs of the church that are in the air and to make sure each one lands safely and nothing gets lost.
- You’ve got to line them up as they are getting ready for takeoff (to ensure all the desired support material can be created in a timely fashion.)
- Make sure nothing occupies the same airspace (avoiding competing events on the same date and protect your designers, so they are not overwhelmed by multiple and conflicting requests.)
- Clear the runway when the Senior Pastor launches a “special project.”
- Ensure all planes are parked and readied for their next flight when they land (as you close, clean up, evaluate and celebrate projects.)
- Ensure the ground crew is informed, trained and motivated to do their job well.
I have no idea what this person was thinking when they chose a cookie to represent the Director of Communication’s role, but they nailed the desired skillset.