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Church Video Announcements; a Love/Hate Relationship

VA

I like church video announcements because I see them as a great way to communicate things in a way that someone standing at a podium reading the bulletin can’t.

I hate church video announcements because they are often viewed or esteemed to be doing something that they’re incapable of doing. Not to mention that they seem to have become the equivalent of 1990s church bulletin clip-art; every church seems to be doing them and not very well.

Some ramblings:

You have to have a real strategy. You can’t just take everything from the bulletin and make it a video thing. Map out what is really deserving of the real estate that is available. If doing video announcements is a goal for your church, start figuring out your strategy long before you start producing them.

Not just the WHAT, but the WHY. If all you do is spew dates and times, people won’t remember or act on anything. Give them reasons to get involved by telling why the church is offering or doing something.

There is a cost. Just because you have someone on staff putting the video together doesn’t mean that it’s free. It takes time to arrange the shoot, schedule the ‘talent’, shoot the segments, edit (and often re-dit), render and export the video… Don’t ever underestimate the value of these tasks.

Go all the way. If all you do is move that same dry, talking-head from the podium to a video screen, what have you really gained? Make things more appealing by being more visual. Don’t just talk about the up coming mission trip, show some pictures or video from the last one.

Video vs. Human. This seems to be something that very few churches think about; even if you do video announcements, some things are going to be received much better when they come from a real human on stage. For example, don’t waste valuable video-time each week by doing the same visitor card instructions. Leave this to a pastor or other staff who is standing in front of these people and can make a visitor feel much more welcome and at ease than a video screen ever will.

Know your audience. Will each segment of the announcements affect a majority of the people in the seats? If not, then it’s likely not worth the real estate. I was once asked to do an announcement that would have affected a segment, of a segment, of a segment (literally) of people that would be in attendance. After pointing that out to the requestor, he understood why other things would have a higher priority.

Go dark. We’re talking about video announcements, no one will die if they don’t happen every once in a while. Nothing will frustrate a video guy more than having to manufacture a 3 minute video about nothing. In the life of every church, there are some slower times, and that’s OK. When VAs are a part of the regular diet, people will tune them out. If you don’t have 2-3 items worth really talking about, go without.

Go beyond the calendar. Don’t always make them about calendar items; Shoot some video of your big events and then take some time in the VAs with a highlight package to celebrate something that the church has just done or accomplished.

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So, I’m curious… If your church does video announcements, why do you do them? Has the “why” ever been established? Chime in!

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One comment on “Church Video Announcements; a Love/Hate Relationship

  1. Good perspective. Sometimes they just seem to be filler. My husband works in Media and has always felt it can be a tool to foster creativity and innovation in the church.

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