Email Will Kill You: 5 Crucial Tips for Church Communications Professionals

For church communications professionals, the age-old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” might feel outdated in the era of emails. We are inundated with a flood of electronic correspondences daily, making it challenging to process and manage. And in the collaborative sphere of church communications, we might be tempted to think that email is the optimal way to relay and share information.

Think again.

It’s time we re-evaluate our methods and consider that email, if not approached correctly, might just be our undoing. Here’s why “Email Will Kill You” and some better ways to collaboratively share information:

1. Assume Your Email is Going to Get Lost

Emails have a notorious habit of going to spam folders, getting buried under a pile of other emails, or just being ignored. So if you’re relying solely on emails to share essential information or updates, there’s a good chance your recipients might never see it.

2. Set Up Shared Documents for Everything

Shared documents, like Google Docs, allow real-time collaboration. Instead of sending ten different versions of a document through email (and having to remember which one is the latest), have a single shared document that everyone can access and edit simultaneously. This eradicates the problem of version control and makes sure everyone is literally on the same page.

3. Agree on Language BEFORE Layout and Formatting Takes Place

How many times have we spent hours on a beautifully formatted email or document, only to have the content changed at the last minute? This not only wastes our time but can also lead to errors and inconsistencies in the final version. By agreeing on the language first, we ensure that the time spent on layout and formatting is efficient and fruitful.

4. Simple is Better

In the world of software and collaboration tools, there’s an endless list to choose from. While each tool has its merits, sometimes sticking with the most universal and accessible tool is the best approach. Google Docs, for instance, is globally recognized, free, and user-friendly. Instead of overcomplicating things, keep it simple. Everyone will thank you for it.

5. Bookmark Your Shared Documents So You Can Find Them When You Need Them

It’s great to have a shared document, but if you can’t locate it when you need it, its utility diminishes. Make sure you organize and bookmark shared files in a way that makes them easy to access. A well-structured folder hierarchy or a centralized document with all the essential links can be a lifesaver.

In conclusion, while emails can be a quick way to relay information, they might not be the most effective or efficient method, especially in collaborative settings like church communications. By adopting smarter strategies and tools, we can streamline our communications and ensure that our messages are not just sent but also received, understood, and acted upon.

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