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Break Through the Clutter by Shannon Litton

Christian Leadership Alliance

By Shannon Litton ~

Are you ready  to Break Through the Clutter in 2016?

January is upon us – a new year and a new chapter for your ministry. By now you have settled back into the grind, perhaps feeling a bit overwhelmed as you recall the lofty goals your team has set for 2016. The time is now to start chipping away and gaining momentum, but where to begin?

Every week, someone comes into our office expressing this same confusion. Out of all the buzzwords and latest trends in technology – SEO, SEM, Pay-Per-Click, Periscope – what should our brand really be doing to break through the clutter?

The first fundamental principle in marketing and communications to propel your ministry onto the path of success is what we call Brand Clarity. The foundation for all successful communications is a clear brand with messaging and visuals to represent not only who you are as a ministry, but most importantly, why you exist.

Here are three steps to kick-starting your CLARITY and break through the clutter:

1. Evaluate your brand

Spread out all of your current brand messaging and visuals onto the table, pull your website up on the screen, and reflect on where your brand stands today. Does your current messaging truly capture your unique double bottom line? Does your internal team have consistency when explaining why you exist? Do your external audiences “get you” the way you “get you?”

2. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Can you explain why you exist and what you do in just a few short sentences? If not – no one is going to remember who you are! Perhaps you’re focusing too much on the “how” and not the “why.” When there is true clarity around your brand, it should not be complicated to explain.

3. Create and distribute a brand one-sheet

To ensure your internal team is all singing from the same hymnbook, organize your brand DNA on one sheet of paper. This sheet can include your mission statement, why, who and how you serve, boilerplate, language to use and not to use, target audience personas, etc. This guideline will encourage consistency and keep your team from straying from the why.

What next?

Say it! Say it! Say it! Say it until you’re sick of it. If you’re not tired of the story that defines your brand, you have not said it enough.


Shannon Litton is president of 5by5, a full-service marketing and digital agency headquartered in Brentwood, TN. 5by5 serves change makers, those who work where life change happens. Their strategic services include communications plans, websites, mobile apps, ad campaigns, and fundraising initiatives, delivering messages with undeniable clarity, reach, and results.

Make this a breakthrough year on many levels. Join Christian leaders from across the country and around the world as they gather to be equipped for greater Kingdom impact. The Outcomes Conference: CLA Dallas 2016 takes place April 19 – 21. Based on biblical principles, best practices, and practical applications, this is  one leadership training event you and your team won’t want to miss. Visit the to learn more.

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Register before January 31 for additional savings.


What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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