Thursday, April 16, 2009

Less Clutter. Less Noise. Still Overwhelmed.

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.

Great information, though.  This woman is a gold mine.  

1 comment:

Connie K. said...

I call first dibs on this book when you get back!