Day-to-day work life is overwhelming. There's so much to do, so much to keep track of. How do you stay on top of all the new trends that affect our media world and our culture? If you haven't been able to “come up for air” in a while, here's a snapshot of some of the trends that are shaping society:
1) Americans are feeling positive about some religious groups. (PewResearch.org) America may be moving toward a “post-Christian” society, but we still have some affinity for faith groups – Jews, Catholics and Mainline Protestants, to be exact. Nearly 70 percent of Americans surveyed see these groups in a positive light. Six-in-ten Americans see Evangelical Christians in a positive manner. While Americans are “warming” toward atheism, only half report a positive feeling about it.
2) Live streaming video continues to grow. (Hubspot.com) Livestreaming is gaining ground as a communications tool. Everyone from brands to public information officers are finding ways to stream live content to social media. As an aside, you may want to try streaming interviews or events and inviting your audience to view the experience.
3) Virtual “experiences” are gaining ground. (Trendwatching.com/trends/5-trends-for-2017) TOMS shoes takes people “on tour” to show how their shoe donations are making a difference in children's lives. Compassion International offers the “Haiti Experience” - a virtual reality (VR) tour of homes and projects in the island nation. VR isn't cheap or easy – yet – but it is gaining ground.
4) Transparency builds trust. (VisionCritical.com/massive-business-trends-2017) People are looking for imperfect, yet authentic communications. People want “real.”
These are just a few of the top trends in today's culture. I encourage you to take a few minutes to do your own research and learn about new tools and lifestyle changes so that you can become an even more effective communicator. Remember that while our world changes, Christ will never change. Our challenge is to communicate the timeless truths of the Gospel. One way we do that is by tapping into our culture through new tools and channels. Whatever channel(s) you use, be a light in the darkness and point people to Jesus Christ!
Bill Arbuckle CMW