Should faith have a place in your business? A look at the role of God in marketing.
When I worked for NBC, I put together a series called "The Faith Project". The idea was to look at the role of faith in our lives. Not organized religion, but FAITH.
Let's face it. We live in a world where it feels as if we have to be ultra politically correct. If you ask me, it's pretty sad. We live in a country where men and women have fought for centuries so that we could have the freedom to express our beliefs. In the past century, we've seen movements such as that of the great Martin Luther King Jr. to ensure that people of all colors and faiths have equal rights. We've seen political fights so that people can express their love for whoever they want - whether they be opposite sex or same sex. In Germany, we fought against the oppression of all of these people under Hitler. We've fought for the greatest ability to express who we are as individuals...and yet when it comes to religion, so many people suddenly feel silenced.
And so, in this ultra-PC world, should God have a position in your company?
Let's flash-back to Christmas Eve of 2013. I was enjoying a Christmas celebration for employees of one of the biggest companies we work with. The phone rang and the secretary picked up the phone. Her intro and outro were pleasant enough, but there was no mention of the holidays. The owner politely asked her why.
"I don't want to offend anyone," she said.
"I happen to know that YOU celebrate Christmas," he said. "Our family is a Christian family and we celebrate Christmas. I want you to feel comfortable wishing people a Merry Christmas if you so choose."
It was a courageous statement and one that made me proud to work with this family-owned business.
I'm not offended when someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah. Or Merry Festivus. Or any other holiday that I don't celebrate. I appreciate the fact that people are who they are and they aren't afraid to express that.
I know that this post will get people fired up. And that's ok.
Then men and women who fought and died for this country did so just as much for your right to NOT believe as they did for my right to express my belief. I'm not really sure when people's "feelings" outweighed the rights of other people to talk about faith.
I don't discriminate when it comes to the businesses we work with. I don't have a problem working with people of all faiths or for that matter no faith. But I personally respect and appreciate business owners who aren't afraid to talk about God.
I believe we find God everywhere we look. He's in every faith, in every flower, in every interaction and in every child. By no means am I going to preach to clients - I of all people have countless flaws and so many ways that I can be a better person. But I'm also not afraid to have a conversation about God because if it weren't for Him, I wouldn't be blessed with this amazing company and with my beautiful family.
What about you? Does God have a role in your business in any way, shape or form?
Oh, and by the way - Merry Christmas and God bless, your family and your business.