Behind The Announcements - Part 2

This is my first blog, so I just feel the overwhelming need to say hello before we jump into business! I have so enjoyed reading all the interaction that’s taking place here on Seeds and it’s just a pleasure to jump in on the conversation with you guys!

In keeping with our “behind the announcements” vibe here, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on how the writing comes together.

Announcements are typically made up of one thing: information. The problem is, information alone can be really boring. So when we decided to try our hand at video announcements a couple months back, I started looking for a way to wrap my head around what it is specifically that makes an announcement effective. Over time, I realized that a really good pitch, one that stands out, always has three key elements to it: the story, the info, and the ask.

THE STORY
The story is the heart behind the event. It’s the answer to the question WHY? Why are we doing this event? Why does it even exist? If you don’t know the answer to this question then you need to find out because when you answer this question, it casts vision and inspires people to take action. This is probably the easiest thing to overlook but I spend most of my writing time right here. If you fail to find the story, you won’t connect with people.

THE INFO
Information is important but you have to learn how to determine which bits and pieces are necessary. We try to keep the nitty gritty details to a bare minimum in our announcements. We say ONLY what’s needed, let graphics say what can be read on the screen, and point people to the website or Guest Services in the lobby for the rest. Info is great but it doesn’t inspire people and too much of it always gets lost in the shuffle.

THE ASK
The Ask is the part of the announcement where you change gears from storytelling and info in order to call people to action. This is no time to be shy! When I deliver the ask myself, I try to think about changing gears in every way I can. I may change my body language with a specific movement or adjust the tone of my voice slightly. This may sound a little silly, but your eyes have a lot to do with how boldly the ask comes across on video. I genuinely try to look deeper into the camera lens during the ask. I want to connect. I want to grab the audience and ask them to DO something. It’s not enough to just inspire and inform them, you must call them to action and that’s what the ask is all about.

Now that you know how we approach the writing on our announcement videos, I thought I’d include a few pieces for you to browse through along with the original text. Just for kicks, see if you can identify the story, the info, and the ask in each one.

I’d love to hear about your victories and struggles when it comes to video announcements! Drop me an email anytime!

Mother’s Day 2010 Promo
Well, next weekend is Mother’s Day, and moms, I gotta tell you, what we have planned for you is more than your average Mother’s Day service with carnations and a round of applause for all the moms. If you are a mom, you deserve a fantastic day and that’s exactly what we have planned for you! Right when you walk through the doors, you’re going to be so glad you came because every moment of our time together next weekend has been thought through with you in mind! Plus Joe McGee is going to be here and we’re going to have a lot of fun!

So call your mom, call all of your friends who are moms! This is a perfect weekend for you to invite them to be with us at Church on the Move. We want to pack out that parking lot with nothing but mini-vans and it won’t be the same if you’re not here to celebrate with us. Oh, and don’t be late! You cannot miss what we have for you at the very top of the service. In fact, husbands, why don’t you help your wives get the kids ready for church next weekend so you can be here on… wait, nope… that’ll make you late. Moms, do what you gotta do. We’ll see you next weekend!

Bus Drivers
We are getting ready for some of the biggest outreaches we do as a church and one of the teams that we’re working to build right now is our Transportation Team! I’m talking about Bus Drivers, folks! Oneighty buses in students every Wednesday from around the city and Christmas Train will be here before you know it and it takes a lot of bus drivers to help all of our volunteers get to Dry Gulch every night!

Our bus drivers have a great time together and this is an awesome way for you to be a part of the work that God is doing in our church! If you are somebody who is interested in driving for us, we have a table set up in the lobby this weekend. We can help you earn your CDL if you don’t have one and get you all the training you need! So swing by and meet us today after service! You will love being a part of the transportation team!

Service Etiquette
At COTM it’s important to us that everyone who comes through our doors has a great worship experience and our goal is to eliminate as many distractions during our service as possible.

When you get up and leave early, it does create a distraction at a time in the service when people are considering a relationship with Christ.

We ask that you would be considerate of the people around you and not leave the auditorium until service has been dismissed. Thank you for helping us make COTM a great place to worship!

Girls Get Away
Girls Get Away is an event for all the ladies of Church on the Move. These weekends are about getting away from the norm and taking some time to relax with the girls and here’s what’s great, if you don’t know a lot of women at Church on the Move yet, this is a perfect way to connect with some amazing COTM ladies!

In fact, guys, if you are sitting next to your wife or girlfriend who has been wanting to meet some new friends at church, you need to elbow her right now...and then get her registered online! Ladies, don’t be shy, don’t be scared! We’re going to have a blast!

We are going to be sipping espresso, toasting s’mores over the fire, stopping in for manicures at the Dry Gulch Spa and enjoying an outdoor chick flick by the lake, just to name a few!

It doesn’t matter if you are married or single, a student or career woman, a super model or a super mom! We believe something amazing happens when women gather to worship, gro,w and spend time together. So go online and get registered! And if you have some questions about the event, you can stop by the Girls Get Away table in the lobby today!

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