I struggled with calling this post ‘an on-going conversation’, it’s probably more of an obsession. While I would never classify myself as a communications expert, I’m passionate about communicating well within the church. I’ve posted about this passion before (See 8 Simple Rules for Video Announcements), and I’d really like to hear from other video producers who are tasked with making video announcements at other churches. If that’s you, drop me a line in the comments… I’d love to hear the philosophy behind the how and why from others.
I’ve been doing my current version of announcements at Seacoast Church for about 6 weeks now. I call it “The Dispatch” and thankfully, I was given a lot of artistic liberty on how to execute each week.
Some of the parameters that I work within:
- Keep the final piece at about 2 minutes long. We roll the announcements right before the message roll-in and the idea is to keep it short but informative.
- Cover no more than 3 calendar items. I believe that any more than 3 items will be quickly forgotten.
Here is one of my favorites:
Some of my philosophy:
- Video announcements allow me to tell a better story. I don’t ever want to just move a “talking head” from the stage to the screen; with the bit about the Harbor Cruise, I was able to to get onto the boat that they were using for the event. The boat, the water, the bridge… these are strong visuals and they tell as much of the story as the spoken word. A third layer in this was the music; “Come Sail Away” by Styx was a great way to help people remember that event as well. Never underestimate the value of getting a song stuck in people’s heads!
- Pictures and a little bit of information get the point across. In the bit about Serve Saturday, with just a little bit of footage from a previous event, I was able to show that anyone can get involved, from someone with car skills to people who can throw a little paint around. An interesting side note is that the event organizer came to me after that piece ran with a concern that it needed more information, I assured her that it would be okay; all that people needed to know was already in the piece. They had only been averaging about 20 people in the past few months for Serve Saturday… we ran that bit for two weeks prior to the July event and they had 70 people show up! You don’t have to over-sell… keep it short, give people the what/why/when, and they will respond.
- Quick reminders work! At the end of the piece, I had the talent simply ask folks to silence their cell phones and I was amazed at how many people were reaching into pockets and purses to do just that! Beyond that, finishing with a way for people to get more information is another key to communicating well; Our website will always have more information than we will ever try to fit into 2 minutes, I like to finish each week with the church’s website address.
If video announcements are something you’re already doing, or looking to start doing, jump into the conversation! Let’s help each other out by swapping ideas. Feel free to include links to stuff you’ve done so we can all see what you’re doing.