At the end of the year, a list will be made. Several lists, in fact. Making a list of the completed year is as much a part of our American culture as watching “A Wonderful Life” at Christmas and yelling at the television during the Super Bowl.
We’re a list kind of crowd.
In 2011, we’ve already had the round-up lists, tagging everything from the top 10 musical albums of the year to the top 140 best Twitter feeds. If a list of the year’s activities could be made, it’s been done.
Even though it’s way past the midnight of last year, one more list is necessary. Call it our Wish List, if you like. Instead of a bulleted account of what happened, this is a concise collection of what we hope will.
During our time outs, this is what we imagine will be the end of the year list for Christian media in 2012. At least what we hope. By December, we’ll know how right we were.
- The surge of the back stage pass
Ministries made a pivotal discovery. It’s a super secret, super effective, low effort, high reward method for connecting to their audiences. It involves a camera, involves walking it behind the curtain, and involves filming what goes on there. We called it the “Ministry 101: Unedited” approach. It created intrigue and intimacy with their audiences and was all the rage.
- The time share technique
This was a brilliant move by ministry media departments. How do smaller ministries afford television broadcasting, while also filling the content requirement? They join forces! That’s right. There’s strength in numbers. So several small ministries, seeing all the broadcasting potential, worked together to purchase and share a strip of airtime. One day, one ministry took the slot. The next day, another ministry. It opened television broadcasting to the smaller guys. Fantastic! Where do they come up with these ideas?
- The online strategy
It was so simple. So clean. Such a powerful move. Newer and smaller ministries, with solid content but lacking funds for high production, took ministry material to a new standard of authenticity. They knew production quality wasn’t everything. Content is. So they stuck to their strengths and produced online video that had everyone buzzing. Even us!
- The language shift
This was a simple tweak of phraseology. And it went over like…hotcakes. Or flapjacks. Or pancakes. Working to make their communication easily understood by broader audiences, ministries carefully deleted the “Christianese” language (words and phrases only Christians truly understand) and used words familiar to everyone. It was an easy change with overwhelming results. We loved it! In Christianese, that means, “We loved it!”.
- The blooper real phenomenon
Ministries made a mistake. Then they took that mistake and aired it. Excellent! Audiences love bloopers. They relate to life not always going according to plan. Crowds are begging for more.
- The experimental year
This move really paid off in the outreach department. With all the media options available for exposure, media ministries decided to test them out. What they discovered was greater exposure, broader ministry opportunity, and surprising success. We salute their willingness to step out of the box.
- The craving for bite-sized portions
Everyone loves mini sizes, from candy bars to communication. Shorter video content is easier for consumption. It’s been a year of soaring online hits.
- The growing authenticity
The cultural climate of 2012 has been all about being real, getting real, connecting to other real people. Observing that trend, the Christian media market has responded with less shiny, less scripted productions. The glam went down. The audience connection went up.
- The year hope refused to die
With the economy still wobbly and the world still wrangling, the future didn’t always look bright. People foraged for hope like birds for seed. And they found it. 2012 became the year ministries and businesses handed out hope like candy from their pocket, always ample and always wrapped in realism.
What a surprise 2012 has been! Who could have predicted such growth and evolution in the Christian media marketplace?
Geniuses. That’s all. Only geniuses.