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From 0 to 640k Online in Less than 1 Year - Mike Schrage with Good News Productions International

In this episode we get a chance to speak with Mike Shrage, the President of Good News Productions. Mike and his wife were missionaries in Kenya for 20 years, which gave them a deep appreciation for other cultures, and in particular, Mike developed a strong awareness that media created in America for American culture does not always resonate with other cultures. That experience led him to spend the past 10 years with Good News Productions International (GNPI) to create media that would reach the world for Christ.

What Does The Production Process Look Like

GNPI works with local partners in the development of their media, this ensures that the end result is media that is designed specifically for local people that was built in their own language from the start. This means they don’t have translation issues. 

One of the challenges to this model is that they do not dictate the channel in which the media is spread, because each country has their own favorite platforms. This ensures that the media is reaching the intended audience, it does also mean that they have to develop and gain an understanding of the different platforms around the world.

How Has COVID-19 Changed The Way GNPI Works?

When the lockdown occurred they had to make 3 changes, first they had to make sure all team members had laptops so they could work from home, then they had to add mobile internet to keep them connected and provide childcare. From there incredible creativity flowed. One example of this is that they created Facebook pages for specific dialects, especially those smaller languages that may only have 100,000 speakers worldwide. This was fantastically well received because those less common dialects often get overlooked and don’t have specific digital outlets in their languages. Another example is creating a worship service that was not associated with any denomination or church. This was entirely online, and went from just an idea in March of 2020, to having over 600,000 devices logged in to listen this past Sunday. They also use WhatsApp numbers during the broadcast so searchers can get connected to local missionaries.

What Are Some Channels You Are Seeing Grow in Other Parts of the World?

It’s different for all areas of the world, there are many places where radio and cable are still the critical methods of distribution, however, when it comes to social media, there are several that are not as common here in the US. Some of these you may have heard of such as WhatsApp and WeChat, while others may be less familiar such as Line or Telegraph.

How Do Your Projects Get Funding?

Around 95% of the funding comes from the United States, whether that is individuals or churches sponsoring the projects, with 5% typically coming from local businesses or individuals. GNPI believes strongly in partnerships, which doesn’t always mean a dollar for dollar match, they rely heavily on local talent to get the work done.

Be sure to listen to the full episode, to hear all the amazing things God is doing through the work at GNPI globally, including how they measure success, engagement and impact. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode.