Phil Cooke just blogged his thoughts on “Seven Things Religious Media Professionals Must Do in 2007”. Here they are:

1. Start the project you’ve always dreamed of creating.
The clock is ticking and you’re not getting any younger. Remember that dream script in the desk drawer you’ve always wanted to produce? Or the TV series you planned on the back of a napkin? Or the company you always believed would change the industry? Stop dreaming and start doing. There’s no better time than now.

2. Understand the power of a compelling brand.
In a media-driven culture, a compelling brand is the key to breaking through the media clutter and getting noticed by your audience. A successful brand is the story that surrounds a product, organization, or person, and it’s much more than just a logo. It’s a promise you make to your viewers or customers, and it powers the connection that transforms companies, and revolutionizes fundraising. Don’t end 2007 without creating a strong brand identity for your station, network, church, or ministry.

3. Carry a small notebook and pen everywhere you go.
Ideas are fragile, and your memory doesn’t always work. Write it down. Ideas come in the strangest places, and if you don’t write them down, you’ll lose the idea that could transform your future. Many people type notes on a handheld PDA and then download them into a computer. Either way, if you don’t record your ideas, you’ll regret it later. Phone conversations, meeting notes, spiritual insight, breakthrough ideas – write them down.

4. Read more novels.
Because most religious media professionals deal with reality – preaching and teaching programs, interviews, documentaries, commercials, etc, we often forget the power of drama. Make a commitment to read more fiction this year (and not just “Christian fiction”), and learn the art of storytelling. As my old writing teacher told me, great fiction may not be “true” but it’s “truth.”

5. Spend less time on what’s urgent and more time on what matters.
Think about your epitaph. Will they praise your great ability to handle e-mail, or your genius at company politics? Or will they honor the time you spent as a husband and father, or how you accomplished great things with your life? Eliminate the distractions – including the people who end up just wasting your time – and focus on real priorities. Whoever invented the “open door” policy for leaders never accomplished much. Be accessible to your team, but don’t be afraid to shut the door and achieve the big picture priorities in your life.

6. Go HD.
It’s time. High definition is here, and while there are plenty of competitive products and standards, it’s time to make the change. Start this week on a strategy for upgrading your equipment, and get proven, expert help for every step. Right now, networks are looking for HD product, so the chances of getting your program broadcast might be even better if it’s on HD. There’s a wide range of options, and for my money, I’d rather have a low budget HD facility than a big budget standard definition facility.

7. Remember the reasons you chose this career.
It’s so easy to get caught up in advancing technology, paying the bills, and the daily grind, we often forget the reason we decided on a career in media in the first place. Chances are, you had a dream back then, and the question is – was that vision ever accomplished? In 2007, cut through the clutter, and get back to the heart of why you do this for a living.

* Again, those are Phil Cooke’s Top 7 list for 2007. Do you agree? What do you think about #6? Phil has an HD poll that he’d love for you to participate in. Go HERE to vote.

Greg Atkinson

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