Overcoming the Challenges of Media Work
(Minghui.org) I’ve been working as a sales rep for a media company for the past three and a half years. Managers from headquarters recently developed an online promotion that brought new business opportunities and sped up breakthroughs in increasing readership.
At the same time, people were questioning how the business was run while the media outlet developed its digital news arm. Some staff were even considering leaving their jobs.
I was also looking at my options. Can using digital ads save people? Is selling digital ads considered saving people? If the ads weren't for print media or traditional television ads, could they save people?
Then my thoughts became a bit clearer... As a sales rep for a media outlet, my most important task is to generate income. The main job of the sales staff is to sign contracts, bring about monetary income, and remain responsible for the company’s operations. Each of us also has to make enough money to support ourselves. The media itself can then have the effect of clarifying the truth in a broader sense.
The biggest bottleneck in media development is business operations. Whether it’s distribution, salaries, television coverage, or other facets, if there is no income, it’s challenging for any media to survive, let alone save people. Expanding business channels, especially in digital marketing, combined with an online presence, while staying ahead of overly biased media, will not only show everyday people our strengths, but also give people more opportunities to participate through different facets of the business and potentially bring in more money. In fact, this is also saving people. This is the same principle as an everyday person donating a car to our media; it is the same as giving us money.
To be clear, whether it's newspaper ads or television ads, these cannot save people—it's the income brought in by the ads that helps to sustain the media development. As a result, we can then achieve the goal of saving people. Of course, when an everyday person willingly places an ad in the Epoch Times or NTD, he is showing his positive attitude toward Dafa. But to a media outlet, the ad itself provides income. This is the same for the kinds of articles that have the effect of saving people. Whether it's through the newspaper, television, or digital marketing, the outcome is the same.
As we all know, newspapers and television stations can carry truth clarification content. These were the same powerful tools that the evil used to slander Dafa in the early stage of the persecution in China. It is the same with digital marketing. If we use it to carry Shen Yun promotions and bring the news to more people, we are making good use of all the media tools. As a media outlet, its brand will thus be enhanced.
Teacher mentioned on many occasions that we could learn by observing the way Shen Yun is managed. My understanding is that it's important for practitioners who work in the media field to study the Fa and cultivate, but it's equally important for all practitioners to do the same. I heard that Shen Yun performers, including musicians, rehearse over and over every day. Even a simple movement is repeatedly practiced daily. This also includes members of the Tian Guo Marching Band. Their professional instructors emphasize practicing over and over.
I realize that as a sales rep, I need to elevate my knowledge in many areas. I need to know about the products sold by the companies who advertise with us, improve my selling skills, and grow in how I deal with things. I remember that in the early years, the manager let me do some self-training, which helped me begin selling ads. But I was soon arguing with people online.
Thinking back on it, I feel ashamed. I tried to learn from professional sales people. But some people told me it would be better to do the meditative exercises instead. This sounded right, but why refuse to learn from others or refuse to improve ourselves? Sometimes we actually didn't do tasks well and just weren't effective.
“With any project or any task, if you decide not to do it, then don’t do it; and if you do decide to do it, then you definitely have to do it well and carry it through to the end. If you do otherwise, how shall the time you wasted go down in the annals of history? Whatever is not brought to completion amounts to a failure.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)
I understand that we should not set limitations for ourselves, and we have to try our very best to do things better and better. If studying the Fa and doing the exercises could help resolve all problems, then Shen Yun performers wouldn't need to endure the hardship of practicing their basic movements daily.
As sales people, we also need to focus on training. I heard that in New York, even those doing truth clarification work at tourist sites need to undergo training. If they are not up to par, they aren't allowed to do the job. Sometimes when we don't do the task well and can't handle things properly, things go in the opposite direction and push people away, even causing difficulties for the media. When people misunderstand us, we can't even think about bringing in an adequate income.
My Understanding of Self-Managing and Managing Others
In media, including the work environments faced by ordinary people, we often encounter situations of self-managing and managing others. If we work for an ordinary company, the work attitude of cultivators should reflect our higher realms.
Master taught us in Zhuan Falun:
“Since studying Falun Dafa, these workers have been coming to work early and going home late. They work very diligently and will do any assignment their supervisors give. They also no longer compete for personal gain.”
When I was in China, I once imagined that if all the employees of a work unit were Falun Dafa practitioners, they would be as productive as everyone was in a higher realm. But now that I am outside of China and working for a media outlet where everyone is a Dafa practitioner, things haven't turned out to be like I imagined.
Take me as an example. I’ve found that many times I am not willing to be managed. Some who shoulder different roles in managerial positions seem reluctant to manage others. I don't think this is a behavior that Teacher expects us to leave behind for people in the future to learn from.
Sales people need to work together harmoniously and not step on each others' toes or get into conflicts with each other. In a business managed by Dafa disciples, when it comes to establishing rules, sometimes people say, “To solve these issues, you need to focus on your cultivation,” or “These rules are not humane,” or “If you apply these rules, so-and-so will be affected,” and so on. There are many uncertainties, and things may not be looked at positively. In turn, an established system isn't in place, so year after year the same problems may occur.
For example, when issues desperately need to be resolved and practitioners are required to be in higher realms, some complain that the business is not conducted like it should be, because there are no established rules and insufficient management. Then gaps and contradictions occur. In a worst case scenario, some people's evil natures surface and they forget what they are doing, why they are doing it, and who they are responsible for.
If everyone can cooperate with management and follow the rules, many things will be much more effective. If we hold managerial positions, when we require ourselves to behave like cultivators, act the way managers should act, and boldly apply our management roles in our tasks, our businesses will be in better shape.
For those of us being managed, if we truly cooperate with the management team and complete our tasks in a quiet way, I believe we will make more breakthroughs.
I feel that when we don't seem to be able break through obstacles, it's not because there are interfering factors—or that managers aren't professional or don't know what they are doing. It is actually a reflection of us having too many human attachments which interfere with the whole team.
The above is only my personal understanding. Please point out anything that is inappropriate.