Thursday, January 15, 2009

What Are People Saying To Each Other - About You?

The title of the book by Pete Blackshaw captured my attention and I wondered: Is this true for churches as well?

Blackshaw's work documents how the balance of power for today's businesses has shifted - the consumer is now in control. In the world of Consumer Generated Media (blogs, YouTube, social networking, etc.) a single disgruntled customer can broadcast his opinion to millions and derail a company or undermine a global brand. Companies can't ignore CGM, and have nowhere to hide. According to Blackshaw, the only response is creating 100 percent credibility by establishing:

  • Trust

  • Authenticity

  • Transparency

  • Active Listening

  • Responsiveness

  • Positive Affirmation

I know this is a business book, but the more I get into it, the more I find application for churches. Here are a few questions I have:

  • Are churches impacted by consumer-to-consumer communication?

  • Do churches have reason to be concerned about what people are "saying" about them?

  • How can churches find out if CGM is going on?

  • How can churches make positive use of CGM?

What do you think? What can you add to the conversation?

1 comment:

g-force said...

Hi Bob, my church is one of those that has been positively affected by CGM. Several of the people who are "new" to Bronx Bethany (within the past five years) are actually not converts, but transfers from other regions and other churches who heard about the church from our congregants. It's old-fashioned 'word of mouth', and it's been good for us in spite of our shortcomings!

On the technological side, I periodically google our church to see what (if anything) is being posted.

And, as a congregant, I tell the office staff my concerns about the physical plant/engineering issues I notice- but if it's something simple, like plants needing water, I just handle it myself. Ownership is a big part of improving satisfaction, and people take notice when they see congregants picking up trash and cleaning bathroom sinks. I call it "the other sermon".