Christian Media

Advice for Getting into Religious Media

So many people call our offices looking for advice for getting into religious media, I thought I’d outline some suggestions that might help. Especially for those trying to get your faith-based ministry, project, or idea moving, my first advice is also to get connected to the media industry as soon as possible. This isn’t comprehensive, but try these ideas:

First – get involved in the National Religious Broadcasters. I suggest you attend their annual convention, and start the networking machine. There will be hundreds of church and media ministry directors and Christian media professional there and it’s a great group for you to meet. They’ll also have workshops and seminars all week long. Also, get involved on the NRB’s TV Committee as well.

Second, if you’re a good writer, consider writing “how-to” articles for industry trade magazines. Examples are Technologies for Worship and Church Production. They don’t pay for the articles, but it helps build your brand identity to that audience, plus, the magazines will put a short blurb about you and how to contact you at the end. The key is increasing your perception in the industry. Write the editors of all three magazines and submit some topics. The key is to write articles on what you want to do personally, so you get known for that. Also – Technologies for Worship has a national conference every year that you should attend. You can find all these magazines on the web – just do a name search with Google.

Third – If you have a passion to teach, consider getting a graduate degree. Radio/TV/Film programs are hot on Christian campuses right now, and that would be a great transition for you. But you’ll at least need a masters, unless it’s a really small school. I got my Ph.D. for that very reason. One of these days when I retire, I would love to teach.

Fourth – Start to focus on only one or two things you really want to do. The higher you go, the more skills you have to let go. I stopped editing, shooting, and managing years ago, and now focus on writing and consulting in the Christian world, and directing only in the secular industry. Steven Spielberg can do anything he wants, but he only directs. That’s good advice. Focus – and get better and better at one or two things, rather than being average at a lot of things.

Fifth – “Hollywood Connect” is a new resource in Hollywood designed to help people with questions about Christians in Hollywood, entertainment careers, coming into the industry, making the right choices,and other areas. It’s a free service and highly respected by Christian professionals in the industry. HC is a “gatekeeper” for people coming into town for the first time, needing info about how to find housing, an agent, a church or a job, or career advice. If you’ve considered coming to LA, talk to Hollywood Connect first.

Sixth – Buy the book: “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.” It will transform your thinking about how to present yourself, how to attract clients, how to understand your perception, and how to market yourself. It’s available March 1st 2008. Get that today and start reading. When you’ve finished that, read everything John Maxwell has ever written. Start with his latest – “Thinking for a Change”.

Finally – Stay hip to the culture. If you really want Christians to make an impact in the culture, we need to know what works. Read magazines, watch TV and movies, know what reaches people and why. Know how to recognize “cool” – sadly, most Christians can’t.. 🙂

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3 Comments

  1. ..but how does a visual artist like myself get into religious media? I just want to paint bible pictures for a living. Is there even a place for bible art in today's religious media cavalcade?

  2. Phil

    Thanks!  Another great article, and one that I have found particularly interesting – not for myself but for my daughter.  Your "Hollywood Connect" link is a GREAT resource.  My daughter has been auditioning this morning for acceptance to ELON University's Music Theater program.  She has been home-schooled to allow her more flexibility and availability for performance – related opportunities.  Here in NC a 16yr old student can take community college courses for free as a supplemental education.  Because she has been able to get many college classes under her belt, this is going to allow her to minor in Broadcast Communications as well (Music Theater programs generally will not allow students to dual enroll).

    But I found Hollywood Connect to be a great resource for "how to get started" for actors as well as for others.  My daughter's resume is already very lengthy with community theater companies, and local college productions, as well as some modeling, and even an extra in a 'B' film shot recently here in Charlotte.  I have been the "headshot / resume / etc" route so many times… It seems the requirements change for general locations (Charlotte, NY, LA, etc) , as well as for area of talent (singing, acting, modelling, triple-threat, etc)

    Ok, that was a LONG "Thanks" but I wanted you to realize that your blog post was relevant!!! and appreciated

     

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