Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Alumni media company excels

Award-winning Innovative Faith Resources gains recognition

Although the company has only been in existence for a little more than a year, Innovative Faith Resources (IFR) already has several awards under its belt. The nonprofit media company has claimed 11 awards so far this year.

IFR earned seven from the Telly Awards, two from the Baptist Communicators Association and two Addy awards.

The newly constituted company is comprised mostly of Liberty University alumni with SBC of Virginia (SBCV) Director of Ministry Services Doyle Chauncey as president of the group. Vice President Brandon Pickett, Media Specialist Ishmael LaBiosa, Marketing Director Chris Riddick and Videographer/Editor Brian Wood make up the rest of the IFR lineup. The team itself is just one aspect of IFR that helps the company produce award-winning products.

“I love our team. We are really blessed with people who love the Lord, excel in their field of work and want to create award-winning material,” LaBiosa said. “The positive environment allows me to be more creative and gives me that extra desire to do more. I also like the fast-pace environment. Sure, deadlines can be frustrating, but that keeps me coming back every day.”

Despite IFR’s recent success, the company struggled in the beginning with only Pickett, one of the founders and LaBiosa at the start.

“With any new business that you start, it’s not having enough of anything. You know, not having enough people, not having enough tools,” Pickett said. “The one thing we did have plenty of, which was great, was potential clients that really wanted to see if we could help them.”

Innovative faith — IFR Vice-President Brandon Pickett interviews Mark Koch, manager for Nationwide Series NASCAR driver Blake Koch. Photo provided

Like any media conglomeration, IFR had more work than the small two-man team could handle upon inception.

“It was like I walked onto the football field in a tied game with only seconds left on the clock. I had no idea how busy I would be within the first few days on the job,” LaBiosa said. “That held true for me until our leadership team decided that we were getting so much work that we need to hire additional video, web and marketing professionals to help carry the load.

Adding three more to our staff allowed me to focus on my forte, video production. Even today, we are working as fast as we can to keep up with the workload. All of that said, we are extremely grateful that God is blessing us with work to do.”
The concept for IFR came through Pickett’s long-time friend Vince Blubaugh, who suggested opening a business called Innovative Faith Marketing.

“I thought, ‘Great idea. It’ll never happen,’” Pickett said. “Dr. Chauncey said ‘Why not? Let’s see if we can make it happen’.”

Chauncey had a 501 (c) (3) established for a section of SBCV called Church Ministry Services, which was responsible for assisting with financial services. IFR works to bring marketing and branding, financial services and media services — print, web, and video — to churches and nonprofit organizations.

“His idea was why couldn’t we take the media and the marketing side of it and marry it to the financial, rebrand it and move forward. So that’s what we did,” Pickett said.

Shortly after talks began to establish IFR, Pickett and Chauncey realized they were on the right track for the development of the business.

“We found out very quickly that there is a real need in the Christian, or the ministry nonprofit, world for people who know how to market or brand and do media,” Pickett said. “They’re always thinking in missions or ministry that they can’t do great, cool, cutting edge things because they don’t have the money. But what if they could have access to top-notch marketing and branding and media and not have to pay top-notch prices? That’s where IFR comes in.”

Unlike many businesses, where money is the driving force, IFR is a ministry first.

“At the heart of IFR, I think, is missions — the desire that we all have to use the gifts and tools through media that God’s given us to help promote missions,” Pickett said.

“The heart of IFR is to help ministry agencies and churches and those trying to fulfill the great commission,” Chauncey said. “We’re trying to assist churches in helping them fulfill the great commission.”

IFR’s devotion to missions is the identifying factor for establishing the company as innovative.

“Innovative Faith Resources is not just innovative because of what we do, but how we’re doing it,” Pickett said. “God’s given us tools to use. Instead of just using it for our own promotions, what if we open the doors and say ‘Hey, we can help.’”

For more information about IFR, visit www.innovativefaith.org.

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