Commentary & Analysis
Evangelism (part 4 of the Trolling for Students series)
By Pete Rivard So who needs evangelists?
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: April 4, 2005
By Pete Rivard So who needs evangelists? This industry. The on-demand, dynamic media, enterprise publishing, digital print industry. March 8, 2005 -- I once saw the card of an industry professional that identified that person as a “Photoshop Evangelist”. If there’s a product less in need of an evangelist, I’d like to know what it could possibly be. 99.99% of all professional image editing is done in Photoshop. Hello!? There’s nobody left to convince. The argument is over. There's not that much difference between being a Photoshop Evangelist and a New York Yankees fan! Rooting for the Yankees always struck me as akin to rooting for the sun to rise. The sun is going to rise, the Yankees are going to be in the playoffs, if not the Series, and there’s no sense in getting all puffed up and boastful about either. PDF Evangelist. JDF Evangelist. XML Evangelist. I’ve seen them all. What church is sending forth these proselytizers, anyway? Where do they come from? They're like a pack of lead singers abandoned by their bands, addicted to the spotlight and driven by powerful urges to vocalize. They are invariably way out ahead of their subject matter’s real capabilities--and that of their audiences--riffing endlessly away on the main theme like a blues guitarist being paid by the lick. So who needs evangelists? This industry. The on-demand, dynamic media, enterprise publishing, digital print industry. You know where we need them? Not at the annual conferences and expos. Not on the traveling road shows. That’s just preachin’ to the choir. We need them in front of high school classrooms everywhere. We need charismatic testifying about interesting careers to a congregation that’s as lost as any you could hope to round up. We need students to feel the earth move under their desks. We need to see these kids leap to their feet, knocking over their chairs and struggling up the aisle, begging to be saved from devil unemployment and the hell of dead-end careers. There shouldn’t be a single artsy or brainy kid who isn’t aware, by their sophomore year, that there are fascinating, challenging careers in graphic communications. How many evangelists do we need? Dozens. Hundreds. Brothers Frank, Noel and Pete, and Sisters Barb, and Carro and Heidi aren’t sufficient to spread the word to every corner of the land. We need every company in this business to provide a missionary to get the good news into every high school in the country. There shouldn’t be a single artsy or brainy kid who isn’t aware, by their sophomore year, that there are fascinating, challenging careers in graphic communications. There shouldn’t be a junior who can’t recite the prominent college and university programs that serve this industry. There shouldn’t be any seniors who aren’t aware of the size and scope of the graphic communications opportunities in their home state. There shouldn’t be a career counselor who isn’t trying to put a half-dozen kids annually into graphic communications career paths. If we have people with no problem standing in front of audiences and jabbering at length about whatever comes to mind--and God knows we do--we should be turning their talents toward a real pay-off for the industry. This industry needs a steady supply of bright teenagers entering the best schools in the country, four-year and two-year, and taking their place upon graduation in this remarkable array of career opportunities that we call graphic communications, media technologies, digital print, whatever. This industry needs a steady supply of bright teenagers entering the best four-year and two-year schools in the country to learn about graphic communications. At Dunwoody, we don’t have a problem placing graduates. That’s not a problem. Companies pay our students to intern before they graduate. We have dozens of HR managers and production supervisors show up at InternExpo each year to interview a couple dozen students. Most are doomed to leave disappointed. There are only so many 2nd years, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. We need more students! Somebody help me get some more students! Where the heck is an Evangelist when you need one?