Just Have Fun With ItPosted November 09th 2010 @ 4:59 pm by Todd Hertz
Several weeks ago, I rented a fogger from Home Depot to mist some anti-mold product throughout my house. I had no idea what I was doing. The fogger came with no instructions. It was just a hand-held metal water basin with a fan-driven mister. I could guess you aimed the stream at the ceiling, but I wanted to use this thing right. I wanted method. How long do you fog? From how far away? Do you have to hit every inch of your ceiling?
And so, I called a friend who fogged his house the weekend before. I peppered him with questions about the exact, fool-proof method for fogging. His response:
“There is no ‘doing it right.’ Just have fun with it.”
That last sentence was one of those simple moments of revelation. Fogging is not the only area of my life where I want to have exact method and procedure. When doing communications for our ministry, I want every step to be the right one. I want to follow tried-and-true methods and best practices. I want no mistakes. And so, my desire to always take every ‘right’ step leads to pressure and stress.
My friends’ advice to “just have fun with it” made me realize that when carefully walking the communications tightrope of making every right step, I wasn’t just having fun with it. In only looking for the right method and best practices, I was draining out the spontaneity, creativity, freedom and…fun.
Today, I read a review of last night’s television return of Conan O’Brien that offered a great summation of this dilemma. It reads:
"It's as true in making television as it is in life: to succeed, you have to relax, and to relax, you have to stop worrying about doing absolutely everything right. It's ironic and cyclical, and it confounds talk-show hosts as much as it confounded the overachievers you knew in college."
I am still trying to figure out what it means for me to “just have fun with it” when it comes to communication work. You can’t completely abandon communication strategy and get all willy-nilly with what you’re saying. Yet I think the best examples of good communication come when there’s seriousness mixed with a little humor. After all, the organization you’re communicating about has a personality, right? What do you think it looks like for you? What benefits do you see?
(Guest writter Todd Hertz is is the E-Marketing Manager for ReFrame Media. That basically means he works to build online relationships plus develop web and social media strategies. He formerly worked as managing editor of Ignite Your Faith magazine and associate online editor for Christianity Today.)