Rock Point Church - rockpointechurch.org
Jessica's Email - email@example.com
Well, hey, welcome back to another episode of the Church Marketing Hacks podcast. I'm your host, Matt Lombardi. I am joined today by Jessica Siri of Rock Point Church. Jessica, how's it going today?
Going well, Matt. Thanks for having me.
Yeah, super pumped to have you, your creative director at Rock Point Church. How long have you been at Rock Point? Tell us just a little, just a brief bio background of kind of your experience there and maybe beyond.
Sure. So I've been with Rock Point for 10 years now. Before that, I had a good balance of client side and agency side, just in the marketing world, background and brand management, and got to bring that over to the church world.
Love it, love it, love it. Okay, well I'm excited. Even in the pre-show, we dived right into brand stuff, and so I'm sure that'll come up at some point along the way, but I'll lead with our first question that we always ask, which is, what's the best marketing hack you've seen in your time serving churches? Could be a tool, a system, a process, a campaign strategy, something you've put in place for your team that you say, “Hey, this has had the biggest impact, the most bang for our buck of any kind of hack we could put in place.”
Yeah, it is really hard to drill down to just one thing, but I would say, We came in about six years ago and we said, Guys, we are not a simple church model. There's a lot going on. How do you prioritize? Well, while making sure that all of our ministries and of the corporate brand overall are all satisfied, they're getting their needs met in a timely and efficient way. And the thing that we did was kind of sit down all the heads in one room and came up with a tier strategy. So we've broken it down. There's a lot of determining factors, whether that's how many people are gonna be coming to an event or participating in a class. And then we took it a step further and said, you know, what are the things that we can provide all of our ministries that are really gonna move the needle, but that are also most efficient from a timing standpoint? And so we've got that strategy pretty well baked out. And it served us really, really well.
That's amazing. So just to go a little bit more in the weeds with you on that. So you said a tier system, are we talking like three tiers, 20 tiers? Like help me get my head around like what does that tier system look like and then what does it look like in action for, whether that's lay leaders, staff, ministry leaders. What does that kind of day to day process of having that tier system? What has it done for you and what does it mean?
Yeah, so we've got three tiers and those are broken down by attendance metrics for us that looks like 600 attendees or more, 400 or more, or 200 or more. And then we have a brand package that everybody gets no matter what. And that's got about seven different items in it that people can use either on their social channels or that we're gonna actually tangibly hand them to hand out to folks. And then we look at our classes differently. So currently we've got 36 classes running. And if we were to advertise all of those the exact same way, it would look like people walking into Times Square. Yeah. And that is not what we want. We need them to be able to make decisions quickly. And really good marketing. Good branding removes barriers. And that's what we're trying to do. So we've said, Okay, we've got some anchor classes. Every ministry gets at least one. Yeah. And then anytime a class is gonna serve more than 60 people, we'll go in and build out a full brand package. Okay. And if it's less than 60, or perhaps it's a class that's been around for a while, and we know what that constituency is gonna look like, then we put together a course catalog every spring and every fall. So really these tiers are just different ways of compartmentalizing and putting in buckets, all of the different things we do, and developing a language around it so that we can have a shared experience and I can prioritize. And people feel like, man, you're delivering on what you said you do. And I also got input. So expectations are clear. It's really just about making sure that we're all speaking the same book.
And speaking of speaking from the same book, something a little knowledge bomb you dropped before we start chatting was that you all don't just have a brand guide or a visual identity, you know, map or anything like that. You have a true brand book. This is a little bit off topic, but I just wanna go there. What's that look like for you all? I know a lot of churches, they're starting to think more through brand, but maybe not quite to the level that you guys are doing at Rock Point, which I think is so cool. Can you speak a little bit more to what all is in that brand book that's not just logos, color spacing, like fonts, all that kind of stuff.
So there is a style guide which you would kind of anticipate, right? But we also go through and we just say, what is representative of the kind of photography that we're looking for? What's representative of the nature and the feel of Rock Point that we could kind of put our hands around? So like I told you earlier, one of the things that we always go back to is we are not a leather jacket. Yeah. We are very much your comfy sweater, favorite sweater in your closet that you're gonna reach for all the time. And what that looks like actually played out is we're not gonna be the most trendy church. We're gonna push trends, we're gonna move forward gradually over time, but we're also going to remain aware and true to who's coming through the doors at Rock Point. If you look at our two lead teaching pastors. One, they're gonna love me telling you this, is 38 and the other one is in his mid-to-late fifties. That's what I'll say. Yeah. And what I know is that if we only serve the folks who would maybe primarily be drawn to one of them and not the other. And we miss like half of the objective. So we really want a pretty bell curve over both of those folks so that we're reaching everybody we should be. And you know, I'm. Gonna trust in God enough to say he's gonna know who's coming through those doors. And at the same time we just wanna do our part to meet them halfway, remove those barriers to get them there.
Because you have such kinda deep brand insight and background, I wanna ask you a question that I know is common for church creative leaders, communications leaders, marketing leaders, which is. How do you balance kind of who God's brought to you, right? Kind of like who you are as a brand right now. Like, Hey, here's who we are with kind of a visionary, like who's here, We want to become the, for you all at Rock Point, was it, No, no, we're just gonna go with who God brings us and then just reflect that. Or was there an aspect of like, No, here's kind of a forward trajectory that we want to get to and here's where we need to push it. Can you just speak to that relationship a little bit? Cause I know it's something every church is kinda, they're, we're always evolving, right? God's always bringing new different kinds of people to the doors.
Absolutely. I think what we try to do is kind of structure our thoughts around health and what a healthy walk looks like. We have four B’s. You know, it's a church, a pastor came up with us, so of course there's either three or four of something and it's all gonna start the same way. So with the four B’s. There's, believe, belong, become, and beyond. And what we're looking for holistically is more and better followers of Christ. History, background, propensity towards hobbies or things like that. It's less important to us as Rock Point, truly reflecting the image of Christ and his nature. That's awesome. And so for us I always tell people that a logo is really just the picture of something that already exists. The brand exists behind all of that. And it's something that you feel and it's something that you know sort of innately. And whenever you go to that, we're thinking like servant leadership, graced first we put people over programs. Those kinds of things that are part of our culture and our DNA. That's what we're looking for. The way that it sort of flushes itself out can, through events or through the experience that we provide in our four years. And that is ever evolving. But what we try to do is just make sure that the strategy behind how we're measuring health is what perpetuates the brand. Does that help?
No, that totally makes sense. In a way, what I'm hearing from you is just like your brand is in many was led with vision in a way, or like your mission and like your core values as opposed to this, Well, here's who we want to be and here's the sexy kind of image we wanna have out there, and then now let's try to pull our values and our vision along with it. It's like, no, no, no. Like let's make our brand reflect what our values already are and wherever the chips fall on that. That's gonna be up to God, right? But we're gonna stay core to these values that he's instilled in our community and it's, you know, it's very on brand, right? So it means that if it's all aligned around values, you're always gonna be on brand and you're never gonna be chasing some whim just because, oh, well we want to try to be this instead of the thing that. We know we've been called to be. Love it. Okay, question number two. What book podcast resource would you recommend to every church marketing communications creative leader out there? Is there one that you just come back to or gifts? Time and time again.
Yes. And it's probably not going to be what you think.
So I actually brought one because I carry them around so much. It's called Crucial Conversations.
I've heard of it and it's got like five authors.
Yeah it's not about design, it's not about brand. It's none of those things. It is very much about how do you have successful high stakes conversations with people?
Okay. So for me, I think. You can make something that's beautiful and amazing and does not at all convey what your shareholder wanted. Yeah. It's not what your ministry was looking for. It's not what your lead pastors are looking for and so you need to be able to draw that information out of people and then when things go wrong, because they're going to go wrong, Right? You have to be able to declare the breakdown. Say what was wrong and come up with a solution that's going to satisfy all parties. So no matter who's working with me, who's on my team, they all get training and crucial conversations. They all read the book. I have a couple of other trainings I do with it, but I can't imagine not having frameworks from which to solve problems, you know, And people are our business. It's the most important thing you'll ever do. You know, being behind accepting Christ, you know, is loving others well. So yeah, can't say enough good things about it. I love it. I love it.
And so what does your, just outta curiosity, what does your team look like? Is it a small team, large team, when you're walking 'em through it, are these like one on one conversations, kind of big, kinda, you know town hall style meetings? What, how do you walk people through this?
So I like to work small one-on-one conversations. Right now I've got seven on my team and we are looking for a videographer. Shameless plug. And I’ve got a couple of designers, a web dev, videographer, and our database falls under our team as well. With that said, I have also done these trainings with other teams, whether its student ministry, women's ministry, whoever is just looking for more tools in the tool belt with how to interact with others. I think if you're working in a church, you're probably also having coffee with somebody. You also likely have a family. You have other people who you care deeply for and want to foster great relationships with. So it's made its way around.
I love it. I love it. Well, and especially like we see this a lot. You know, all the great freelancers and creatives we get to work with here at Share, it's a lot of what the creative process can be, can feel very personal and kind of like soul bearing and vulnerable in a lot of ways. And so to be able to have language and a framework around how you have conversations when, well, your vulnerability is on the line. And, and that just ratchets up the tension in every conversation when it's your work, right? Like you feel like you poured your blood out onto the page or onto the screen, right? And so yeah. I love that. That's a phenomenal, phenomenal resource. Last question and then I'll let you hop on outta here. If you could give your 21 year-old-self any advice about working with churches in church communications, marketing, creative branding, what advice would you give yourself?
I would say it's different from corporate in that you need to leave with relational authority and not positional authority. So in the church world, I really think the relationship that you develop in times of non-work, in times of non-conflict in times where it's not the peak seasonality of a church, right? Easter Christmas, back to school timing, that is what's going to get you through in your integrity and who you are when things are easy. Is what you're gonna go back to. It's not so much about where you fall on the totem pole or anything like that. And over time that has certainly proven out for me, and helped a lot, but it was a shift from moving corporate into the church for sure.
That is so helpful. Jessica, where can people connect with you? Are you on the TikToks, in Instagram, LinkedIn? What, what's the best place for people to connect with you or with Rock Point Church in general, or maybe check out that videographer position that's open?
Right. The best place would definitely be to shoot me an email. I'm old school in that way. I love it. Definitely not on TikTok. I watch TikTok on Instagram, like an adult.
See? Yeah, I watch it on Facebook because I'm 76 years old.
Yeah, same. I'm pretty sure that you and I were right in line there in maybe the Oregon trail generation, so yeah, absolutely. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website. I'm happy to send any of my resources in terms of those tiers or creative briefs to anybody who's looking to learn.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jessica Siri, thank you so much for being on the show. Really appreciate it.
Thank you, Matt. Have a great one.