The foundation has been built, and now it is time for "Raising the Bar— Reaching New Heights in Our Media Efforts" (the conference theme).
This year 15 people involved in various publications and electronic media met at the home office Jan. 24 and 25 to "engage in constructive critiquing and creative brainstorming" with the goal of coming away with "practical suggestions about how to improve all of our publications."
Mr. Kilough pointed out the need for more manpower in the media areas and welcomed Larry Salyer, who will become Media and Communications Services operation manager in May or June. Mr. Kilough listed off Mr. Salyer's extensive media experience.
Mr. Kilough also thanked Peter Eddington for the amazing amount of work he has accomplished in the media area over the years. He said the two men would be working together closely, focusing on their areas of greatest strength.
The wide-ranging discussions included ways to improve the writing of the Church's media efforts, based on the Church's Media Philosophy Statement.
"Having our managing editors meet together at least once a year is very important," said Mr. Eddington. "Since a number of our managing editors telecommute, this is a vital opportunity to discuss our publication and production plans face-to-face. It allows for discussion, brainstorming and ideas that would be difficult to accomplish via e-mail or teleconferences.
"Overall, the three days of discussion, planning and scheduling were invaluable for the Media and Communications Services department," he said.
Some of the action items discussed are to:
• Evaluate whether the subtitle of The Good News magazine should be updated to clarify why the magazine includes bad news.
• Endeavor to continue adding "heart" and a compelling side to our articles.
• Possibly do smaller booklets on repentance, conversion, baptism, etc.
• Continue to warn the descendants of ancient Israel of the consequences for disobeying God and encourage repentance and a return to God's way.
• Explore the possibility of a daily video commentary on the Web.
• Continue to expand our e-mail newsletter subscription lists, providing up-to-date information on how the gospel relates to their lives. This includes push e-mail, RSS feeds, blogs and video podcasts.
• Evaluate a face-lift and possible layout upgrade for United News, including maybe two-color ink.
• Explore professional writing classes and seminars for our senior writers and article contributors.
•Harness the vigor and talent of our younger authors, especially those writing for our weekly Vertical Thought online commentaries.