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Radio Interview

                                     

Mark Kordic

Senior Consultant

Advocace Media

Columbus, OH

 

 

Mark's Career Capsule
With 24 years of experience in corporate and non-profit leadership positions and almost a generation of experience in listener supported Christian radio, Mark Kordic helps radio stations across the country grow income from major donors and pledges.

Before joining Advocace, Mark was the Director of Media Advancement for CDR Radio Network-The PATH®, the media division of Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH.  At The PATH® he successfully served in a number of marketing and executive positions, helping fund network expansion. Kordic also previously served as assistant pastor at Shawnee Hills Baptist Church in Jamestown, OH.

 

1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

Without sounding super-spiritual, recognizing the invisible aspects of what is happening on a daily basis helps me to keep a proper perspective. It is important to affirm that ultimately, every Christian-formatted radio station is wholly dependent on God’s provision to fulfill its mission. Another unseen aspect of life that underscores the ministry orientation of Christian radio is joining listeners in prayer involving their pressing issues. I was privileged to participate in a prayer meeting recently in North Carolina where staff members read listener petitions describing heart-wrenching life issues. In the midst of praying for these seemingly hopeless situations I was reminded of the Apostle Paul’s commendation of Epaphras in Colossians 4:12, as he “agonized in prayer” for members of the body in distant cities. Humble dependence on the Holy Spirit’s work in listeners’ lives creates fertile ground for meaningful ministry.

 

2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

Christian radio stations are taking a more proactive role in responding to the spiritual and material needs of people domestically and internationally. Our stations coordinate efforts with local, regional and national organizations to provide direct relief, critical information for action and prayer, along with communicating a biblical perspective to the masses. Local examples include leadership support for rescue missions, pregnancy care centers and single parent encouragement efforts. Similarly, overseas partnerships with outstanding evangelism and/or relief organizations such as Compassion International, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision and Voice of the Martyrs serve to position our stations as community leaders in compassionate action. This is a very encouraging development.

 

3. What do you think is the main role of the station donor relation person?

The donor relations staff member’s role is to dedicate themselves to unconditionally serve their donors. While it is important to seek new financial partners, I would concentrate on those friends who have indicated their capacity and desire to make our station one of their top giving priorities. Have you ever played on a sports team where the manager was always looking for additional talent to bolster the lineup while neglecting the development of his own players? How did it make you feel? You may have been less than enthusiastic to extend yourself for the team. Considering the lifetime value of each and every donor and the amount of effort needed to replace them, the process of nurturing and developing significant friendships with your current donor base should be a high priority.

 

4. What should a station look for when hiring for that position?

In his book, The Speed of Trust, author Stephen M.R. Covey identifies trust as the number one competitive advantage skill for the 21st century. He defines a person who can be implicitly trusted as someone who has demonstrated a high level of competence in their work (their strengths and results they produce) while valuing strong character. Others would add the skills of communication and exercising compassionate care to the trust mix.

BTW - When seeking to validate a candidate’s fitness in these areas, I would seek six references instead of the customary three references. Due diligence in the evaluation phase of recruiting will help to assure a better match for this important position.

 

5. Overall how can a donor relations person help a station reach their goals?

·      Develop compelling communication tools that convey the results of station activities.

·      Concentrate on building relationships to offer opportunities for top donors to invest in projects that advance the mission of the station.

·      Promote special events which highlight the way your station has made a tangible impact in the lives of listeners. Deliver memorable moments that your major donor and major donor prospects will want to relate to ten of their closest friends.

·      Develop and maintain the fundamental principles of donor development such as identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and sustaining the support team. 

·      Choose to eagerly run to God in prayer with station needs and opportunities. Seek intercessory prayer partners to help us fulfill God’s calling to be an effective connecting tool for the body of Christ in our community.

·      Regularly conduct surveys with donors asking them how our mission effects them personally and also their preferences in our communication and events.

·      Maintain and take action on important donor measures such as conversion rates, lapsing rates, renewal rates for each level of the donor pyramid.

 

6. How does a donor relations program connect with station promotions?

Promotional activities of stations offer opportunities for donors to serve as volunteers and encourage their friends to meet the station staff. These events provide a venue where donor relations staff can invite donors to “meet and greet” opportunities with artists or broadcasters. Donors will be encouraged if the event is well managed and fulfills the objectives outlined by station leadership. 

 

7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

Attitudes toward Christian radio are changing. However, overcoming the perception that much of the programming on Christian-formatted radio stations is irrelevant is an obstacle to growth. Another obstacle is the lack of capital funding to purchase major market stations.

 

8. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today? 

I appreciate stations that combine Internet broadcasting with terrestrial broadcasting while encouraging interactivity with their audiences. I also appreciate those stations that present Christian truth in innovative ways and allow the younger generation to serve in leadership.

 

9. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet…yet since you asked me, I would predict an increasing level of intolerance in our culture to our exclusive message of eternal salvation through the grace and work of Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) In response, I believe Christian-formatted radio stations will forge active partnerships with life-giving local churches and regional para-church organizations to protect our freedom of communicating the Gospel and/or commenting on controversial societal issues. We can expect to face persecution and suffering for boldly taking moral stands. May we rely on God’s promises and sustaining grace during these last days.

In regards to donor development, our stations will develop new ways for supporters to interact with station staff. Donors will increasingly choose to fund the station activities or projects that they can get involved with on a personal level. Although providing these opportunities with supporters will become a much more complex task, those stations who lead the way will grow in influence and income.

 

 

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