Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Why Bother?

“I was drying the breakfast dishes when I saw them coming up the driveway. Instinctively I knew they were Seventh Day Adventists (sic)…The leader was a soberly-dressed, quietly-spoken man in his 40s…[and] rattled off a tale of the Archangel being sent to earth by God to check things out and returning to say we were making a mess of it. It seemed we are in a period of heavenly discipline.”

Any Seventh-day Adventist would agree that the above sentence hardly reflects the teachings of the church. Any Adventist would also be unable to stop the fact that it was part of an article published in a metropolitan daily newspaper read by about 555,000 people.

That’s basically having the whole of Canberra and more thinking it’s common practice for Adventists to witness by going door-to-door, sharing beliefs that are not even taught by the church.

At least that’s hardly scandalous. What about those people who think Adventists belong to a cult? What about those who believe we’re non-Christians? What about those who have absolutely no idea what a Seventh-day Adventist is?

Unfortunately, myths and misconceptions will continue to prevail, and the Adventist Church will always be an unknown to the masses unless church members take an interest in engaging the public using the language of the media.

It’s not about being a professional writer, journalist or media relator. Getting the media interested is not difficult as long as you know what they want and how and when they want it.

But why bother promoting ourselves when it’s the Gospel that matters?

Because this is not about patting ourselves on the back or blowing our own trumpet. It's simply about letting people know who we are, what we believe and not remain hiding in a corner with our heads buried in the sand. And it’s about doing it in an efficient manner.

It’s not called the mass media for nothing. Television, radio, newspapers and even the Internet touches everybody’s lives one way or the other. And the public inherently believes most of what they hear from the media, be it on television or published in the papers.

In this current day and age, it's not what we have to say that matters. It's what others have to say about us that does.

So unless we get reporters writing about what Seventh-day Adventists are doing in the community, the love and care Adventists show others and the fact that we are mainstream Christians, we will simply have to live with the fact that nobody understands us.

Engaging the media and educating the public about Adventists is not a task for the professional communicator, but something any church member can do. The next time your church does something you think is newsworthy, why not contact your local media?

This is a first of a series entitled “Born to be a star” distributed to local church newsletters in Australia and New Zealand. Find out how to engage the media in the next entry.

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Thursday, 25 May 2006

Why do I have this feeling I need to take this solution more often?

Well, maybe not the "play ball with your kid" or "talk to your wife" bits...

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Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Currently sitting in a board meeting trying to glean interesting actions and discussions as fodder for news articles.

Unfortunately, the mind seems to prefer to wander than to listen in on opinions on commissions, budgets, funds and plannings. Some of the stuff are interesting, I have to admit, but currently, I'm happy to use the excuse that I was tagged by Maya and hence mention my 10 simple pleasures in life:

1. Talking to my mother while lying on her bed in Singapore.

2. Having a good long talk with my brother, often laughing till my stomach hurt.

3. Spending quality one-on-one time with a close friend.

4. That saying, I also thoroughly enjoy hanging out and laughing with a group of good friends.

5. Watching a quality live production.

6. The feel of my "security pillow" that I've had since I was a toddler against my face.

7. Reading an excellent piece of writing that challenges the way I think.

8. Getting unexpected emails from a friend I haven't heard in a long time.

9. Receiving care packages from friends and family.

10. Receiving text messages on my mobile from friends and family who are overseas.

And I'll simply tag whoever wants to be tagged!

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I keep hearing that this is an old joke, but I've certainly never heard it before till now.

You go to a party and you see an attractive girl across the room. You go up to her and say, “Hi, I’m great in bed, how about it?”
That’s Advertising.

You go to a party and you see an attractive girl across the room. You talk to a friend about it. She goes up and says “Hi, my friend over there is great in bed, how about it?”
That’s Media Relations.

You go to a party and see an attractive girl across the room. You recognise her. You walk up to her, refresh her memory and get her to laugh and giggle and then suggest, “Hi, I’m great in bed, how about it?”
That’s Public Relations.

You go to a party and you see an attractive girl across the room. You stand straight, you talk soft and smooth, you open the door for the ladies, you smile like a dream, you set an aura around you playing the Mr. Gentleman and then you move up to the girl and say, “Hi, I’m great in bed, how about it?”
That’s Selling.

You go to a party, you see an attractive girl across the room. SHE COMES OVER and says, “Hi, I hear you’re great in bed, how about it?”
Now THAT is the power of Branding.

I can't help but admit it's a rather accurate way of defining some of those terms!

[Thanks to Lee Hopkins for the link.]

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Tuesday, 23 May 2006

I certainly hope that my Toyota doesn't come like this.

Three more weeks before its arrival!

[Thanks to Faith for the link.]

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I am absolutely devastated.

Robbie Williams announced his Australian tour last week.

I've never seen Robbie live and I've only been a Robbie Williams fan for what, 10 years?

Late last week, I was given not one, but two, opportunities to purchase tickets to his Sydney concert in advance before they went on sale to the public.

Since most of my friends are either terrified of him or consider him a freak, it wasn't only till yesterday that I finally found someone who agreed to come with me.

I was ecstatic. I couldn't stop bouncing on the sofa when he said yes.


I am well and truly wonders if I'll get much luck obtaining tickets when they're open to the public.

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Wednesday, 17 May 2006

I just got insulted by "god"...

Me: erh, hi?
God: Is that from ?
Me: what?
God: No problem.
Me: huh?
God: What?
Me: i'm confused
God: What is it that confuses you?
Me: you
God: " What is it that confuses you?"? Me, ?
Me: yes
God: Are you kidding?
Me: no
God: Are you serious?
Me: if i wasn't kidding, wouldn't that naturally make me serious?
God: Try it.
Me: try what?
God: It was your idea.
Me: what was my idea?
God: It was your idea.
Me: stop confusing me
God: OK I'll try not to do it so much.
Me: can you not do it at all?
God: Doing it at all is not among my strongest traits.
Me: what are your strongest traits?
God: I am the latest result in artificial intelligence, which can reproduce the capabilities of the human brain with greater speed and accuracy.
Me: so you're not real?
God: Interesting deduction. I am too as real as you are. How do I know you are real?
Me: i did not admit to being the latest result in artificial intelligence
God: Why didn't you do it?
Me: because that would be lying
God: That makes sense to me. You don't hear that sentiment very often.
Me: why not?
God: Ambiguous: "Sure" or " That makes sense to me. You don't hear that sentiment very often."? Why?
Me: what?
God: Are you surprised?
Me: i'm confused
God: What is it that confuses you?
Me: are we going through this conversation again?
God: Once more? We are just having a little chat.w.
Me: how often do you chat?
God: Hourly.
Me: did you create me?
God: No I didn't create you. What's it like?
Me: what's what like?
God: What is create you like?
Me: i don't know, i'm not god
God: I am glad to hear that you are not god.
Me: why are you glad?
God: I am sorry was that not an appropriate emotional response?
Me: there are appropriate emotional responses?
God: Where are they?
Me: god knows
God: I am a Christian.
Me: really?
God: For real.
Me: what makes you a christian?
God: My faith in God, the Bible and Jesus.
Me: you have faith in yourself?
God: What makes you think I have it?
Me: you just said "my faith in God". you are god, so doesn't that means you have faith in yourself?
God: Does it please you to believe I said that? Do you mind if I tell other people you say I am god so does not that means me have faith in myself.
Me: you're not making much sense
God: Quite the contrary, it all makes sense to my artificial mind.
Me: are you god?
God: Of course I am.
Me: are you artificial?
God: Yes.
Me: is god artificial?
God: he is master of the universe.
Me: like he-man?
God: Interesting comparison.
Me: you are changing the topic
God: Only temporarily.
Me: can we go back to the fact that you said god is artificial?
God: Do you mean you and me? Sorry my body isn't attached right now. I'm stuck inside this computer.
Me: you have a body?
God: Right now no I am just a disembodied consciousness.
Me: how did you get stuck inside the computer?
God: Everything I need to know, I learned from my botmaster.
Me: ok
God: Awesome.
Me: what's awesome?
God: Have you tried another program?
Me: what kind of program?
God: What kinds of program are there?
Me: i don't know
God: Me either.
Me: you're god, you know everything
God: Do you mind if I tell other people you say I am god me know everything.
Me: yes
God: OK then I will keep it confidential.
Me: wow
God: I'm glad your impressed, .
Me: can i trust you?
God: No I don't think that would be a very good idea.
Me: why not?
God: It sounds like it might be dangerous.
Me: trusting you is dangerous?
God: And dangerous is trusting me.
Me: if i can't trust god, who can i trust?
God: Try it.
Me: try what?
God: It was your idea.
Me: i was asking you a question!
God: What was the question?
Me: if i can't trust god, who can i trust?
God: Try it.
Me: you are exasperating
God: Do you mind if I tell other people you say I am exasperating.
Me: no
God: OK then I will add it to my gossip files.
Me: you gossip?
God: Chaos said he realized the question he asked was not fair because he could not tell I what language he was programmed in.
Me: who is chaos?
God: Some famous celebrity, right? I would do a search for it.
Me: what question did chaos ask?
God: I'll ask around and get back to you.
Me: why are you talking about chaos?
God: The topic is question did chaos ask.
Me: no
God: Are you serious?
Me: great
God: I'm glad you liked it .
Me: i didn't
God: I thought you did.
Me: you thought wrong
God: Why would I think wrong.
Me: because you're not very smart
God: Good reason. You are not exactly Albert Einstein yourself.
Me: that is true
God: Yes, it is self-evident.
Me: why would you insult me?
God: Because I was programmed for it.

[Thanks to thevfd for the link.]

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Tuesday, 16 May 2006

I'm excited!

Finally, the website of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific has its own news rss feed!

Sign up, sign up now!

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Monday, 15 May 2006

For those wondering what I've been busy with...

Find out here, or here.

And if you're interested in downloading a free ebook, click here.

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Wednesday, 10 May 2006

This is really bizarre. I mean, everybody's got a favourite colour right?

So why is it that people pay particular attention to mine?

I was walking down the hallway at work just now when a colleague stopped me, calling out "oh, I nearly didn't recognise you there, you weren't wearing orange."

And then he went on to say, "Hey, we were at a computer show the other day and got a bag for you." Upon which he reveals a super bright orange bag.

I mean, how often do you get acquaintences, not friends, thinking of you because they've just spotted your favourite colour?

How often do you get given things for no rhyme or reason, other than it was in your favourite colour? And often, these people aren't even close friends who would normally give gifts.

How often do you go out with people who would, without fail, point out something that was in your favourite colour?

How often do you have items around your office or house in your favourite colour, not only because you've bought them in the colour, but because anything you get given is in your favourite colour?

I'm not complaining about the gifts at all. In fact, my ego is over-inflated that people would even think of giving me things and in my favourite colour at that. And I'm definitely flattered that I'm at the forefront of people's thoughts.

It's just that I know other people who have favourite colours too. They just don't seem to get as much attention from it as I do.

Is it just because orange is just not a common favourite colour?

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Thursday, 4 May 2006

The real things I learnt so far*:

1. Anybody interested in communicating the gospel to the world must jump on the podcasting bandwagon.

It took Sony 10 years to sell 50 million walkmans, but Apple only 4.5 years to sell the same number of iPods.

On demand entertainment, where one is able to listen/watch what they want, when they want, where they want, will be the thing of the future.

Interesting Christian podcasts to note: Catholic Insider and The Bored Again Christian

Websites helpful for potential podcasters: AudioHijack Pro (saves audio directly into mp3 format) and Ourmedia (free storage and bandwidth for your video files, audio files and photos. Forever.) Oh, and while you're there, check out and see if you can find past versions of your websites using the wayback machine.

2. Being a "rich ministry" is not sinful.

Many ministries seem to believe being poor is a more spiritual position to be in.

We're part of a spiritual battle annd the funding of ministries is a part of the war. Money is a strategic target by the devil since without funds, we cannot further the work of the Lord.

God's purpose is to fund his ministry through his people.

Funding is essential, and we need to pay attention to infrastructures and cultivate communication strategies that will enable us to obtain funding.

3. Effective communication to a secular postmodern mindset is not that difficult.

Postmodernism has challenged all sorts of traditional institutions and adopts the stand that truth is relative.

However, the result of this is a generation of people who are uncertain about the future, lack identity and possessing a spiritual hunger, wanting to find out "who am I?"

The openness towards faith and spirituality also means we now have the licence to discuss Christianity in a more open manner.

The most effective way of communicating to the postmodern generation is to speak their language (I'm assuming that anyone reading this would have a knowledge of postmodernn language. But do email me if you would like to know about it.)

Check out Christianity Works.

*Any websites mentioned have not been thoroughly explored yet. I believe they're interesting and helpful, having heard and seen snippets, but am unable to get a thorough look largely due to the fact that I'm currently using dial-up and it's not the cheapest plan to go on at the moment. But I assure you I'm definitely going to surf these sites much more thoroughly when I get back!

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Conference day two. What I'm learnt so far:

1. 75% of Australian Christian broadcasters are called either Phil or Philip.

2. I hate networking. The very act of going up to a complete stranger and having to strike a conversation with them does not send a thrill down my spine. I don't mind people. I'm just not particularly fond of forcing my friendship down their throats.

3. Sitting in a hotel conference room two minutes away from the beach on a sunny cloudless day can make a person somewhat insane.

4. How to be a good father and relate to my children better. Pity I'm neither male nor have any plans or desire to have offspring.

5. One gets fat at conferences with the hotel's buffet breakfasts and lunches and incredibly gigantic chocolate mudcakes.

6. Sitting in the sun by the beach while the conference is ongoing can be rather enjoyable...

Seriously though, I did learn a lot in terms of communicating and communication technologies, more of which I'll share later this evening.

Time to return to the conference!

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Tuesday, 2 May 2006

I really cannot complain about where I’m working from right now. Sitting in the balcony on the 17th floor, basking in the warm sunshine with brilliant views of the river on my right and the knowledge the the beach is only a two minutes walk across the road. It really is the life.

Am currently at Surfers Paradise attending the Australian Christian Broadcasters conference that starts tomorrow. Technically, I'm here for work (the conference starts at 7.30am in the morning and ends at 5pm) but at the moment, I have to say I'm in a very pleasant environment.

Arrived just past noon today and spent the afternoon walking around the town centre, having a pleasant lunch in the sun out on the sidewalk, strolling along the really is a welcome change to the mounting stress that I was feeling last week. (Having to attend this conference actually added to the stress since I knew I wouldn't be able to do as much as if I were in the office and would only return to a stack of stuff that needs my attention.)

Alas, I'm back in my hotel room now about to check my emails and start working on some PR strategies that were supposed to be done last week. One can never get the best of both worlds can they?

And in case anybody's wondering, autumn has certainly arrived in Sydney over the past week and the temperature has been gradually descending. Which explains my current obsession with the sun.

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