Peoples is Peoples

Muppets Take Manhattan
Is music! Is dancing! Is potatoes! (click for video)

The Muppets were a large part of my childhood, but I never noticed this scene until I watched Muppets Take Manhattan as an adult. As confusing as Pete’s pep-talk is, people are even more confusing.

Understanding people is a big part of being in church communications. This past Sunday I was reminded how much people can amaze you despite how much you think you know them.

As our pastor began his sermon I stepped away from the soundboard (leaving my wife in charge) to check on things around the church. I like to do this to make sure everything in my ministry is working properly and that none of my volunteers need any help. Before I took two steps into the hall outside the sanctuary I was stunned by what I saw. Someone (a child) had drawn signs with construction paper, crayons and colored pencils and taped them to the walls. The signs simply said “Braids for missions. $1 or more. This way. <—-“.

I was shocked!

Who put these here?

Why didn’t I, as the director of communications, know about this?

Does any of the staff know about this?

It’s a good thing our OCD Executive Pastor is on vacation because he would absolutely lose it if he saw scotch tape on the newly painted walls!

But most importantly, WHO IS THIS? I’m glad they’re specifying that the money goes to missions, but even that is extremely vague!

As I did some investigating I discovered it was two girls from our GAs who were making bracelets to sell after the service. After finding the adults in charge and asking them to relocate the signs that were taped directly on the walls, my mind started wandering (some more).

How do they expect to sell any?

They didn’t say who they were.

They didn’t say what they were selling. (I assumed bracelets, but they didn’t really say)

People won’t know about it until they’re out of the service and ready to leave.

The signs are difficult to read and taped in very random places throughout the halls.

This is going to be a disaster.

Later that night, in the evening service, our pastor announced that the girls made $70 from their bracelets.

SEVENTY. DOLLARS.

SEVEN. ZERO.

I spent a month advertising for a Youth Fundraiser Lunch. It was advertised everywhere and even offered online registration. In the end, it was one of the lowest attended youth fundraisers we’ve ever had.

Am I going to change how I advertise? Not necessarily. But I’m not going to be so quick to assume that someone else’s “bad” decisions or “bad” marketing will lead to failure. I won’t assume that just because they didn’t do it “by the book” it’s a waste of time.

Alternate title for this post: I will never understand people. They’re the worst.

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Peoples is Peoples

One Leg At A Time

Learning to work with new people is either a terrifying or liberating experience. They’re (hopefully) excited about their new position and they have freshly conceived notions of what is expected from both parties. Because of this, great stress can arise when new people are put in charge of ministries in the church.

I’m happy to say that I am having to change the process of how I work because the new leadership in some ministries is so good that I have to be prepared to get what I want from them. My problem is, I’m not used to this. I’m not used to getting the information I want in a timely manner. Their problem is, they don’t know what to ask for, but they’re ready to ask for it.

We all have to work with people who only live in the past 60 seconds. These last minute thinkers cause me to do half the work I need to do and produce media at half the quality I’d like. Not only that, but they cause me to put on hold the work of those who planned ahead and my own personal projects.

However, now I’m having to rethink my structure of creating media for ministries and events. I’m having to think different. I have to learn to be the media director I want to be.

While studying for how I should go about this I’ve read a number of articles telling me that I should have an advertising contract or terms of service. Many of them say that I should set an amount of time that is required for each type of media. For example, if you want something in the Sunday worship guide you must have the details to me by Monday at noon.

Or what? I won’t advertise it? Tough luck? Sorry Charlie?

I understand the reason for setting standards like these, but they will only work if they are enforced, and I don’t think that’s how ministry should be run.

So, I’ve decided to create a modified version simply stating that I hold the right to deny any of the requests due to time restraints or if I deem the need unnecessary*.

*What I mean by this is that I won’t advertise something in a way that it doesn’t need to be advertised. IE: The Senior Adult trip to Gatlinburg isn’t going to make it to the front page of the church website.

In addition to this, I am providing an exhaustive list of all the different media that can be used for advertising, both print and web. They will then have the ability to pick and choose, alleviating all of the guess work on my end.

This may all seem pretty basic to you, but when you constantly live 60 seconds at a time, you can’t afford to do things like this.

As a side note, I’m looking forward to using an app/website called Trello¬†where I can create a “board” for each ministry event coming up and assign all of the media needs and details to each board. It’s basically going to become a virtual project board. I’ll update you later on how it’s working once I have had some time to play around with it.

One Leg At A Time