Most pastors, evangelists and ministry leaders have a vision for media, but aren’t sure how to make that vision happen. The key to success is hiring the right person to create, shape and lead your media outreach. In most cases where an organization is floundering, it’s because they’ve hired the wrong leader, who’s incapable of building an outreach to match the leader’s vision. To keep that from happening in your ministry, use this simple guide to help you find the right person at the right experience and salary level to make your media ministry a success:
The “Techie” Person:
Employment—Can be a freelancer or full-time employee.
Experience—Little to none. Sometimes, just a passion for electronics is enough. In other situations, someone from a local radio or TV station will work.
Expertise—Mostly a “techie” type person. Knows a little about video and/or audio, can generally shoot a video camera, do simple editing, and set up video screens, projectors and audio gear. This is an important person on your team, because he knows a little about a lot of different things—but isn’t a real expert at anything. He’s your “all around” guy.
Best Use—To help you get started on a local basis. If you have a low budget, he or she’s probably your best bet. You can pay him or her on a part-time or freelance basis, or per project. If the person’s a church member, better yet. Perhaps they could do it on a volunteer basis as part of their personal ministry.
But if you have a regional or national goal for your media outreach, don’t expect a “techie person” to be able to handle that. You’ll need a more experienced producer. For that, I would recommend you hire a:
The Church/Ministry Media Director:
Employment—Usually a full-time employee, but occasionally can be freelance, depending on the production level of the program.
Salary range—medium to high, depending on resume.
Experience—5-10 years minimum.
Expertise—A church/ministry media director should at least have a background in audio or video production. But they are most often generalists (meaning: a one-man band), so they can do a little bit of everything, which is important for a young media outreach. They often come from audio backgrounds, but not always.
Best Use—This category covers a wide range of good media directors that include a local professional in your church community, but could also include the media directors at the largest church and ministry programs in the country. The more experience they have, the better for you. They should be able to coordinate a broad media outreach including social media, video streaming, your web presence and potentially even radio and TV. The quality and production value of where you want to go will dictate the level of experience you’ll need in your media director, and the best ones are worth every penny.
But don’t expect him or her to necessarily have a strong outside perspective based on working with other top media ministries, understanding the “big picture” of media or be able to rebrand your media outreach. If your desire is to impact the culture on a national or global basis, then I would also suggest a:
Employment—Employed on a consultant basis either on a monthly retainer or per project. This is the most expensive option, but if you’re serious, this is an important step to take.
Experience—A great deal. Should have a strong track record working with numerous national level churches and ministries and be able to apply that experience to your outreach.
Expertise—Their experience working in many areas of media ministry has given them much broader expertise in specialties such as production, direct response, program syndication, donor development, creativity, strategic planning and more. Another important advantage of a media consultant is access to their contacts. They will have extensive relationships in ministry support areas like direct mail marketing, media buying, fulfillment, lighting, equipment dealers, set designers, social media experts, publishers, etc.
Special Note—The best media consultants don’t take the place of your fulltime media director, but come alongside your ministry to give you an outside perspective, create a new look and style, enhance your marketing and audience response, and more. Media consultants often have numerous clients, which allows them to bring a wide range of experience to your media planning. So don’t let your full-time staff feel intimidated or insecure when you bring a media consultant to the table. On the contrary, impress on them the incredible opportunity to expand their experience, knowledge and possibilities. Your media director working with the right consultant can be a powerful combination for the success of your media ministry.