Finished book #3 of this study break; Kem Meyer‘s Less Clutter. Less Noise. Subtitled “Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales”, it’s a look at how to maximize effectiveness of communication, focused on the church environment, in light of the information overload systems in place in our current culture.
Kem comes out of a corporate background, which gives her a ton of credibility. She’s not “churchy” at all, but a serious appreciation for the work of Jesus in her life underlies her book
I was surprised to find a good bit of the book’s content has a prior life on her blog
. It was good there, and it’s good here – but I’d already seen and heard a lot of this. However, it’ll be a great resource to get into the hands of people working in communications at our church.
As I processed this info, one thing kept coming to mind: I’m insane. I’m trying to manage communications from a staff perspective – which really isn’t happening at all, or at least in any way that seems cohesive. And yet we’ve revamped our website and continue to dialogue about future improvements; we’ve altered the program and returned to in-house publication, saving stress and money; we’ve enlisted the work of an incredible graphic designer; we’re trying to streamline our efforts.
But this is a full-time occupation. And trying to juggle musicians and service planning and production team and programming – whew! Perhaps lesson numero uno from study break is this:
Women Who Try To Do Too Much And Why They’re Stressed
Well, regardless, here’s some great info from Kem’s book;
- It’s not what you say; it’s what people hear.
- Information is now so inexpensive and plentiful that most of it ends up being overlooked, ignored or tossed like garbage. (True, this.)
- People’s needs drive their attention; they notice what will benefit them.
- Get real instead of trying to appear real.
- Everything you do (in communcations) is an extension of your story.
- Simplify the problem – don’t complicate the solution.
- Every person in your church is a walking billboard.
- Before you spend money on marketing, spend money on improving the people skills of your people (like reading the same book, training, vision-casting, etc.)
Kem says she wrote this book for the short attention span. Initially, I found this really difficult. It’s interesting to note that my approach to printed information in a book is different than my web experience; I don’t want
a book to be like a blog
. I want a more leisurely experience; I want a book
experience. Just another example of how people receive and interpret communicated information, I guess.