Follow me now – and please don’t take this as an exegisis of this Scripture passage. I’m chewing on something and honestly it’s still stirring in me, so you’re reading thoughts in development – kind of like me thinking out loud. If “new wine must be put into new wineskins”, I think new strategies and tools to reach, connect, engage and mobilize people must be employed with new mindsets.
The following is from my friend, Bill Seaver’s, MicroExplosion blog:
[…A lot of companies are considering trying some new marketing approaches these days. They have become enamored or curious about the new social media tools that are widely publicized and are trying to determine how it can work for them. This is a good spot to be in, but I’ve realized something is still missing. What’s missing is the appropriate mindset needed to use the social media tools, techniques, and stategies well. The old mindset won’t work with the new tools. They don’t mix. Seth Godin wrote an entire book about that called Meatball Sundae.
New marketing only works with the new mindset. Simply using the new tools with the old mindset won’t bring about the marketing change you need and want…]
Many of you know that I work with churches, organizations and companies of all kinds. I’m brought in as an innovation consultant and these days almost all want to talk about using new media and social networking tools. What I’ve noticed is that they get excited talking about these new tools and desire to use them, but haven’t had a change in mindset (like Bill said) and thus are striking out.
I’m thinking of 2 cases in particular: One with a well known Christian organization (there’s no need to share their name) that desparately wants to reach the next generation and brought me in to consult on how to use social media/networking to connect with them and the other is with a fitness/health company that I consult on using new media to help get their message out and expand their business.
Both want to tap into the buzz (or what Tony Steward calls “the awesomeness”) – the latest tools and technology. Mind you: this isn’t a bad thing. I do like to keep it in perspective and realize that these are all just tools, but I like that they are wanting to enter this world.
The problem that I see with these 2 organizations (and honestly with a ton of churches, including my own) is that they don’t dive in. They try to dip their toes in the water and hope they catch a fish. A fisherman gets dirty, gets wet and smells. I love to fish (that’s for another blog – Brian Davis and I can bore you with fish tales) – but I know that when I fish, I don’t wear my best clothes and I don’t expect to cast once and catch a bass on the first throw. You have to have patience. You have to be committed. You have to think like a fish.
Some churches I work with don’t “get” Facebook. Most really don’t “get” Twitter. My assessment is that they haven’t been patient enough and don’t live in those worlds. Remember Bill Seaver’s quote: “Simply using the new tools with the old mindset won’t bring about the marketing change you need and want.”
One organization I work with had previously tried using Facebook in a broadcast-type model (we put out some info about our ministry and you come check it out). It didn’t work and they blamed Facebook. I’m now working with them on how to engage people on Facebook and tools like that. You don’t just put it out and say “Come get”.
Weekly I meet with Paul Watson, a digital missionary. We challenge, stretch, encourage and learn from one another. We have a weekly Bible study/discipleship time that always ends in him sharing his learnings as a full-time digital missionary – one who lives in online community and engages people in virtual environments (this is his full-time job). He’s fascinating and teaching me a ton.
Again, I’m processing a lot of this out loud and expressing things that have been rolling around in my head, but I think I’m speaking to somebody. Maybe you gave Facebook, Ning, Twitter or something like that “a try” and it didn’t meet your expectations. Maybe you, your church or organization is in research and development mode. Maybe you’re in experiment mode. Maybe you’re testing the waters, but haven’t fully dove in.
My prayer, heart’s desire and encouragement/challenge to you is to WRESTLE with Bill Seaver’s quote: “Simply using the new tools with the old mindset won’t bring about the marketing change you need and want.”
Friends, let’s discuss this out loud (or via comments). Does this hit home with anyone? Does this resonate, scare or encourage anyone? Are you committed to getting dirty, wet and smelly to reach fish?