Do You Have a Communication Plan?
Do you spend time in January figuring out your communications for the year? If you hate planning, I hope you’ll consider my ideas.
The particular parts of this plan are your prayer letters and thank you notes. I recommend sending greeting cards, too.
Pick out some of the plans I use for our ministry partners.
(I already explained ideas to plan for your thank you notes in How Often Should You Send a Thank-You Note?)
Prayer Letters and Greeting Cards
The first thing I do is figure out the dates to send prayer letters and greeting cards.
I mail prayer letters and publish them on our blog. I’ll write a blog post with family news or a divine-appointment story in-between. These posts go out through MailChimp from our blog. (You don’t need a blog to do this, but a blog has advantages. Write me if you want to discuss your options.)
Most of our financial partners still receive our paper version of our letter. They may also receive our in-between blog posts.
Download my free spreadsheet, make it your own, and pick your prayer letter dates.
Excel or Sheets automatically generate the dates in Column A. Drag values down every January to get new Sunday dates. Paste the new dates above the old ones. Voilà! You already have a rough idea of dates for delivering your prayer letters.
Of course, it’s never that straightforward to stick with a strict timeframe. We all have to work around the dates for the U.S. Staff conference and the timing for fund appeals. This year, we also have significant family events, so I planned prayer letter dates around them.
Column B has green values for when to mail greeting cards. I also note significant events that impact our prayer letter schedule. I mark dates in red if we have a block of time when we’re tied up.
I put potential topic ideas in column C. I already have rough ideas for more than half of our letters.
Use the two counters for weeks in Columns D and E to help you figure out your frequency and dates. I had to wait a bit longer than I prefer for two prayer letters because of our schedule. You do prayer letters at a different frequency, so you’ll have to make some changes this year. Next year, it will take less time to tweak your spreadsheet for a publication plan.
Our ministry partners receive one birthday, anniversary, or holiday card yearly. I mail two cards per year to top donors. If I don’t have a birthday or anniversary date for a ministry partner, I send a greeting card (Valentine’s Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.) Ten envelopes monthly are the average I address for birthdays and anniversaries. The most holiday cards I address are forty-five in a month three times per year.
I spread greeting cards throughout the year. I will finish addressing by the 25th of the month. I put the date to mail where the stamp will go. I put the envelopes in order in my outbox and check them every day. Easy peasy.
Read Make Your Greeting Card Plan for the Year and then buy your Valentine’s Day cards for older widows on your team. Start addressing for February cards.
You can do this!
Planning when and how to communicate makes all this manageable. Taking small bites of this significant project and building habits will help you succeed. I hope you can use parts of my planning to make it easier for you.
Will you take the time to plan your communications with your ministry partners? Will you try something new?
- The Bite-size blog series offers you some easy and do-able disciplines to start the new year.
- Remind Your Ministry Partners
- How Often Should You Send a Thank-You Note?
- Tips for Clearing Your Inbox to Free You for Deep, Creative Work (Guest Post)
- Do You Have a Communication Plan? (This post is the last in the series.)
- “Bite-size” cookie photo by Keila Hötzel on Unsplash