Many of the announcements I read and hear are essentially worthless, because they don’t answer the two fundamental question every recipient needs answered in order to respond.
Do you know what those two questions are?
Keep reading and I’ll tell you…
Most people communicate from their own perspective.
Think about the announcements you receive this week – the verbal announcements in church, the company newsletters, the email from the person who leads the ministry or volunteer organization you’re involved with. Most of those announcements are broadcast out to hundreds of people and essentially that person telling you what they want you to do to help them.
- Buy our product
- We need volunteers for this upcoming event
- Sign up now for…
Am I right?
What’s odd is most of us don’t respond to announcements like this, and yet we turn around and make the same kind of announcements to other people. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
The first thing we need to do is…
Think about our communications from the perspective our recipients
We are bombarded by requests all day long. Researchers say the average person is exposed to between 2,000 and 5,000 marketing messages a day. And yes, your announcement – even if it’s a verbal announcement in church or an email to your ministry team – is a marketing message.
Since we’re only capable of responding to a small number of those messages each day, we have developed strong mental filters that keep us from even considering the vast majority of these requests.
The first thing we must do in any announcement to make it effective is to engage the recipients mental filter. We do that by answering the first question…
1) Is this for me?
- Are you passionate about giving children a strong foundation of faith?
- If finances are causing you stress…
- Is your website hard to update?
These questions/statements immediately engage the filter of your recipients. Some people will realize the announcement is not for them and tune out. That’s OK. But others will respond by thinking, “He’s talking to me. I want to pay attention to this…” because you’ve identified a problem they have or something they want.
The reason you’re reading this blog post is because when you read the title “Not Getting the Response You Want from Announcements?” something inside you said, “No, I’m not. This is for me.”
2) What’s my next step?
While there are some occasions in which an announcement is intended just to keep people informed, the purpose of most announcements is to rally people to take action.
To do that effectively, we must tell the exactly what their next step is.
An example of a bad announcement is, “If you’d like to volunteer, talk to Sue Johnson.” What if I don’t know who Sue Johnson is? When, where and how should I talk to her?
- If the next step is to contact someone, always include the method of contact and the contact info.
- If the next step is to go somewhere, explain when and exactly where that is in terms a newbie who is not familiar with your city or buildings will understand.
- If the next step is to sign up or buy something, explain how to do that.
This is true of every media – verbal, paper, email, website – but the specific next steps and how you explain them will probably be different depending on the media.
If you’ve found the post helpful, would you do 2 things?
- Post a comment telling us about your announcements and what you’re going to do differently.
- Do it!