Friday, September 3, 2010

Facebook pages, video, and event promotion

Campus Crusade for Christ regional Winter Conferences have been one of my favorite things about being on staff. Lives are changed, hearts are surrendered to the Lord, and momentum is generated heading back to help reach the campus and ultimately the world. But step one is just getting people there.

For a number of years, part of promoting our regional Winter Conference was having someone produce a video that was then burned to DVD and sent out to all our campus leaders. Some people would like the videos, some thought they could be better, some didn't use them. But the bottom line was that video and other media promotion had to happen from "the center out". Everyone depended on a few people to make something good and then make the best of what they got.

As my wife says, that is "so two-thousand late".

Our conference (and most of our regional teams, events, and ministry venues) now have a Facebook page. Think how this changes things:

- We can post a video immediately with almost no distribution cost and have it shared an unlimited number of times.
- If there isn't a good video, you can add your own. With the iPhone 4 (and other new smart-phones), you've got HD video ready to go. Talk to a student that had their life changed at the conference? Record it in their dorm or at the union building and upload it in 720p to the Fb page.
- Want to get others thinking about some aspect of the conference? Write it on the wall and ask for feedback. Better yet, take a short video interviewing a few people about it.
- Make a funny video about some aspect of conference. Post it to the Fb page.
- Want to really go crazy and produce some great, high production value promo video for your campus? Well, why not make one that the whole region could benefit from and post it to the Fb page?
- Want to help build momentum for the conference? Interview people on camera that are going and have them answer why they are excited about it. Then post it to the Fb page.

This is scratching the surface of social media 101. It's time to think and brainstorm under the new paradigm of "everyone a contributor". Of course, this has application that goes far beyond a Winter Conference.

What other ideas are cooking out there to use Facebook, video, and social media to accelerate our mission of turning lost students and faculty into Christ-centered laborers? 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Momentum Part II - Worth the extra work

I'm working at a pace right now that probably can't be sustained over the long term. But like other jobs, Campus Crusade staff means seasons where you hold down the B-button and sprint. The beginning of a school year is certainly one of those times, and even though I'm not primarily on campus in my new role, it feels especially heightened this year.

There are several pretty big projects to move forward right now. Perhaps the most significant, in that it lays a foundation for the rest of the year, is our office reorganization. We need to continue to transform our office in to a place that not only has greater physical capacity, but also an environment that will attract gifted students and staff to come use their leadership and/or operational strengths to build the capacity of our region. This means moving people physically in the office, but also changing how we work, collaborate, and communicate

There are a lot things that could bring this process to a halt, but I keep reminding myself of these three things:

1. Keep things moving forward: Whether big or small, take ground each day. Whether it's building a new cabinet from Ikea or deciding on a regional budget, getting things done is paramount.
2. Manage the fear: As there are no perfect people, there are no perfect offices. We'll have issues, and I'll make mistakes, but the biggest mistake I could make right now is not to make changes.
3. People need to see and believe things are changing...for the better: I have people leading me, and nothing puts wind in my sails like a vision and direction for a better future. As we start to experience some "wins" together, we'll start to feel momentum.

There is something about momentum. You can feel it even if you might not be able to put your finger on it. People are more motivated, enthusiastic, and creative. Isn't it worth the extra effort to generate momentum?

I'm dreaming of a day where our whole region has a collective sense of momentum, as campus movements are growing, lives are being changed, and the gospel is going out from the NW to the ends of the earth.

What about you? Where would you like to get some momentum going?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Momentum Part I - Five things to move every day

I just read an article called The Art of Momentum: Why Your Ideas Need Speed. It recounts the story of a musician who suffered brain trauma that almost eliminated his short-term memory. But, for some reason, if he begin to play a piano piece, it was like it returned.

As long as his fingers and his mind were in motion, he could play beautifully. Clive’s wife writes, “The momentum of the music carried Clive from bar to bar… He knew exactly where he was because in every phrase there is context implied, by rhythm, key, melody… When the music stopped, Clive fell through to the lost place. But for those moments he was playing he seemed normal.”

I'd been thinking about along similar lines tonight as I was looking over what I had to work on before bed. There are a variety of projects and tasks that need to be moved forward, and each one seems to be in danger of grinding to a halt if I don't move it forward. Not just halting in reality, but in my mind. It seems to be more and more true: if I stay in motion, it's very easy to stay in motion. But when time goes by and the momentum has been lost, it's very hard to get back. Perhaps brain trauma only exaggerates what is already true of us!

The article offers three suggestions to generate momentum, the third one of "work on your project every day" striking me as key. Perhaps we are all inertial beings, but I feel especially so. I have a difficult time stopping once I get started, but an even more difficult time restarting once I've stopped. Accordingly, which project or projects need work every day in order for me to generate, and preserve, momentum?

1. Time with the Lord: I've seen time and again that stringing a few days together generates momentum in my devotional life, and stringing several weeks together brings a freedom and vitality that makes walking in the Spirit a whole lot easier. Miss a few days? Suddenly it's been a couple weeks and I wonder why I feel disconnected from God.

2. Exercise: The more I run, the more I want to run. The more I get to the gym, the more I want to keep pushing ahead and go harder. There were days in college when I was training for road races where to miss a day was an actual fear. I knew that if I missed one, it would be easy to miss another.

3. Support: For my ten years on staff, raising support to fund my/our ministry has been done in bursts that have varying levels of fruitfulness. Ramping up to think about raising support takes time, and often times when the momentum was finally coming, it was time to get back to campus. Is this the right paradigm for me? Could it be that working every day, whether for 5 minutes or a couple hours, might be the better approach?

4. Work (whatever is the most challenging project of the moment): Right now, for me it might just be getting our office reorganization done. We're going from 9 full-time (and several other part-time) to 17 full-time with even more part-times. Making minor changes would be safe and easy, but ultimately would miss the opportunity to capture the momentum of a new year, new people, and new hope. More on that in my next post...

5. This blog: It so quickly goes from "I have too many ideas to get down" to "where do I even think about restarting? None of these post ideas seem like the right one to restart with." Thus, today's post!

Does that seem like to much to think about every day? Maybe. But as the article points out, it is not the duration of time that we give each project, but the frequency. Five minutes every day just might be better than trying to do two hours every other week. Keep pushing things forward and don't allow them to come to a stop.