In a previous post, I discussed the 8:1 communications rule – share eight pieces of good news for every one request you make of your parishioners. But this alone won’t fix all your communications problems. Another key component are the ties – strong or weak – between your communications and your mission.

This week, set aside a few minutes to look through all of your communications tools – your Facebook page, your bulletin, your e-newsletter, etc. With each publication or platform, ask yourself; “Are the images an accurate reflection of the kind of Catholic community we’re striving to build?” How about the words we are using? If the answer to either is a resounding “no,” then it’s time to get to work.

One quick fix can be to update your photo library that you use for your website or social media posts. One church client of CSM’s in the Midwest has a single-minded devotion to this exercise. Every month a notice goes out to all staff and volunteers to share their photos to the church’s photo archive. Then staff can dip in and out at need and use the photos to create graphics and update the parish’s communications channels.

Every week, the director of communications sits down with the parish mission statement in one hand and rough drafts of the next week’s communications in the other. She systematically assesses each announcement and image, asking herself, “Does this help or harm the advancement of our mission?” – and she makes her edits accordingly.

This is a great way to make sure your communications and your mission are perfectly aligned – so that everyone knows exactly what kind of Catholic community you’re striving to be.