Where they are is more important than where you are

El Pulpito (Noruega)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Angel T.

Coincidentally, that was the premise of one of those annoyingly “innocent” questions I like to ask.

The question on Twitter? “Does your church podcast their sermon recordings?”

Note the assumption – that your church already records them. I asked that way intentionally so that anyone who doesn’t know would think to themselves…”do we even record them?”

A pastor saw my question on Twitter and asked “Why should a church podcast its sermons?”

Which is exactly what I hoped would happen: We’d talk about what “other people” do.

Many churches don’t record, much less podcast their sermons – but some do. Meanwhile they have all kinds of programs in place to reach out to shut-ins, the infirm, nursing homes, traveling church members (many folks are working away from their hometown these days) and so on.

Think about it: Who doesn’t have an iPod or access to the Internet these days? Not too many folks. The last numbers I saw said that 77% of the US population has high-speed internet access (I think that’s a bit high, but that’s another discussion).

Apple’s free iTunes podcast service (like many others) will let you broadcast audio (or video) recordings globally. The price is the same to your local shut-in, a traveler on the road or a deployed soldier.

Free. And most importantly for them, they can listen on their schedule.

If you had to choose between folks not hearing your sermon all vs. not hearing it until their Monday workout or during their commute (very high focus time), what’s your preference?

When I asked Twitter and Facebook why their church podcasts sermons, this is just one of the responses: “We are reformed so this past year I did look for podcasts about John Calvin since we celebrated 500th anniv of his birth.”

People are looking to consume (learn / read / watch ) info that’s important to them. Their lives might not allow them to be in church every week. I suggested to this pastor that during his next sermon, he should ask this question: “Raise your hand if you’re on Facebook.”

Where are your customers when they aren’t in front of you?

5 thoughts on “Where they are is more important than where you are”

  1. Interesting points. Definitely valid, though I’m not sure if these principles can be applied to all types of businesses/organizations. Take, for example, a moving company. I can’t think of a reason they would need to reach out to customers, except maybe to ask for referrals for people who may be thinking of moving.

    1. General packing instructions, specialty item packing instructions and how to file a claim for something lost/broken in the move comes to mind as a few of several possible examples. Brief videos would be quite effective.

  2. Hm, you’re right. But I see these things being more effective as just resources on the company’s website rather than podcasts. Who would subscribe to a moving company’s podcast? You generally only deal with a mover for maybe a month or two and then forget about them for years, until your next move.

    1. How many times do people move in their lifetimes?

      How much revenue does the average move produce?

      Assuming that you want to move them every time they move… How many times do you want them to a) find a mover in the Yellow Pages, b) ask a friend, c) use the mover they used last time because they rocked the house?

      Things like podcasts/videos etc that provide instruction, help, etc will push people to choice C far more often than choice A.

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