As communications professionals in general regardless of your industry, one of our greatest day-to-day challenges can be relaying messaging to or from an audience with which we are unfamiliar. The key to bringing awareness to a particular community lies in first listening to and understanding those constituents and then effectively formulating and communicating those messages to them.
As a faith-based communicator, our duties rely on creating strategies and tactics in order to share the mission of our ministries as well as spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Last year, Forbes Magazine predicted that 2016 would be a year of diversity and inclusion in business. But are there guiding principles that each of us can consider and follow in our work to that end? Are we listening or are we merely relying on each of our own perceptions?
In light of over fifty people being murdered, and over 50 others being injured at an Orlando nightclub, referred to as the Orlando Massacre, understanding the LGBT audience is imperative in order to communicate a message of compassion and sensitivity to those affected by the loss of their loved ones, the LGBT community and the nation’s hurt. Despite our differences and the variety of races, creeds and/or religious beliefs, now is time for us to set those apart and operate with a spirit of compassion.
In a sensitive situation such as this, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19): Before providing a response to any situation, take heed of all parties involved. Be slow to speak before crafting your response. Listen, Listen, Listen!
- As the 90’s hit song by Monica says, “Don’t Take It Personal”: When crafting the message of a particular community, don’t take it personal. Eliminate your personal opinion and take on the persona of the community that you are representing.
- Remember, Love Never Fails (1 Corinthians 13:7): When it comes to diversity and inclusion, give attention to all parties involved and operate from a place of compassion. When an organization is made up of various diverse backgrounds and religious beliefs, it is important to not create a bias. Coming from a place of compassion allows the audience to be more receptive to the message you are conveying.
Now more than ever, it is important for the faith-based community to arise with a message of compassion towards issues that are facing our nation.
As a faith-based communicator, share how your ministry is spreading the message of compassion surrounding the nation’s recent events?
As a parishioner or bystander, how do you feel the message of compassion is being displayed for faith-based organizations you have seen or are connected with?