Jon Wise is The Center's new Communications & Creative Media Consultant! We asked him the following six questions to give him the opportunity to share about himself, share his communications and creative media experience, and give some practical tips for churches and organizations that want to improve in this area. He even addresses the biggest mistake an organization or church can make!
1. Can you share a little about yourself?
Well a bit about me personally: I’ve been married to my wife, Jen, for 12 years, and we have two sons in elementary school. We live in Bryn Mawr, PA.
2. What are some of the places that you worked at previously?
I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work at some of the largest and most innovative churches in the country: North Point in Atlanta, Willow Creek in Chicago, and Eagle Brook in Minneapolis to name a few. My roles over the past 15 years at these churches have always been centered in creativity, media, music, and communications.
3. What kind of projects do you enjoy most?
The projects I enjoy the most have always been the projects that matter. It’s motivating when people are helped by what you are doing or when an organization is trying something new and you’re supporting that with some video or media or building something online. Those are fun. I also enjoy a good creative challenge. Often, my clients will have some very specific parameters for their video or website or large event. Finding ways to bring together all of the different restrictions and freedoms in a project into something that’s cohesive and compelling… there’s a rush in that.
A few years ago, I was the executive producer of one of the largest National Day of Prayer gatherings in the country. We had something like 12 different prayer leaders from across the city and around the country, 6 different worship leaders, Matthew West as a headlining band, and we had to sync up with a national radio broadcast at exactly the right time for 8 minutes. Everything from advertising, email campaigns, and social strategy to event production, song selection, and radio sync had to be carefully considered and work together perfectly. It was a lot of work, but I had a great team. The night went off without a hitch and had a great impact on the thousands who came. We even won a Christian Broadcaster’s award for the radio sync segment.
Hundreds of creative restrictions and the opportunity to impact thousands and thousands of people…That was one of my favorite challenges yet!
4. What is the biggest mistake you see churches/organizations make in the area of Communications and Creative Media?
The single biggest mistake I see anyone make in this area is ignoring or neglecting it. Almost all of your challenges as an organization can be addressed in some way by communications and creative media.
- Having trouble effectively communicating your vision? A well thought through print piece or well produced video could concisely communicate to your people in a compelling way.
- Slow or no traffic to your website? Try producing relevant content to your audience and sharing it with a strategic social media plan.
- Is your product or cause buried under dozens of other search results on google? Redesign your website in a way that helps you get noticed by search engines.
A comprehensive digital marketing strategy paired with compelling and relevant content can be a huge engine for growth. I see organizations avoid this area because they don’t understand it or are hesitant to create a budget for it. Most people don’t realize how much potential growth they’re leaving on the table by not taking digital marketing seriously.
5. What areas should a church/organization start with when beginning their digital marketing strategy?
A lot of organizations hear the phrase digital marketing strategy and just start boosting posts on Facebook, or have their nephew make a poorly thought through video that doesn’t look good. Don’t do this!
Try this instead:
- Think through your long-term goals. Where do you want to be in 2 or 3 years as it relates to digital marketing?
- Work backwards from there with smaller quarterly goals. What steps can you take to achieve these long-term goals?
- Make a weekly or monthly plan that helps you see these steps in the form of to-do lists. What can you do today or this week or this month to help you achieve your long-term strategic goals.
6. What is something simple that churches/organizations could change today that would make a big difference?
The simplest thing you can do that could make a big difference for your organization is to contact The Center. As their newest consultant, I’m excited to be offering some very affordable assessment services. We’ll sit down and take a look at what’s being done and lay out simple next steps to get you moving forward.
If you haven't seen it already, check out the new Center video that Jon created!
Contact us to find out more about our Communications & Creative Media services!
Jon brings a wealth of experience in the area of communications and creative media. Over the past 15 years, he has served at 3 of the 20 largest churches in the country overseeing worship, creative, and communications teams. He is the founder and creative lead at Neue, a digital content agency in Philadelphia. He brings experience in communications and creative media assessment, project advising, and staff coaching.