Lori Cline Interview 1-1-16
Engagement and Communications Strategist
Career Capsule: My 20+ years in ‘adult/career life’ has all revolved around the Christian radio and record industry as well as church leadership/music/artist ministry with my super cute and overwhelmingly talented husband, Drew and our two little miracle girls, Daisy and Jovie. I started out on the radio ‘board’ & behind the mic in college radio, as well as a local Little Rock ’Today’s Christian Music’ affiliate station ‘Heaven 107.7′ doing cold call ad sales plus some fun commercial and morning drive production. From there a move to Houston, TX with an air check tape in hand landed me a part time on-air gig at KSBJ Radio because I sounded ‘happy’. For the next five years I worked on air and full time in areas of programming, promotions and evening ‘Open Line with Lori Cline’ host. In late 2001, we moved to Nashville, TN, so I could enter the world of record label and CCM artist marketing/promotions with Word Records as Manager and then ultimately leading the department as Director. Post ‘big label’ days I started my own Independent Promotions Company, Brighter Promotions, and continued to service stations and connect with radio friends working with some amazing artists and radio teams along the way. After a ‘mommy-hiatus’, I re-entered the CCM industry at large in a role with Christian Music Broadcasters. For close to four years I served as Member Services/Communications Manager to this non-profit, educational, member organization that offers conferences, community connection and tools to further engage, encourage and equip industry leaders and professionals connected to the CCM industry. After a season of rest and re-visioning, I accepted an offer from broadcast fundraising experts, ShareMedia Services as their Engagement and Communications Strategist. This role is an opportunity to further my personal mission of using my strengths to come alongside old friends and new ones at radio and non-profit ministries to further the gospel with excellence.
1. Lori, tell us what’s the latest news about you, etc?
The latest – I feel more ‘on point’ in my personal and professional career. I recently took some time away to re-vision for myself and my family. I came out of that season feeling more balanced and focused with specific life goals and boundaries set for myself. It’s so easy in the day in and day out to get lost a bit in the shuffle. Taking time to seek the Lord and truly be still to hear His voice is vital to remind ourselves that it is not our story, but His and how He wants to use us in it. We don’t have a lot of time on this earth, I want to live every breath with obedient intentionality.
2. You recently joined ShareMedia Services, what is your role and responsibilities?
My role with ShareMedia Services is ‘Engagement and Communications Strategist’. I’m a ‘ High i” type and my highest strengths are in relationships and communication. My immediate areas of focus are around connection with current clients and reaching out to new ones to see how we can partner together to achieve their ministry goals and deepen the connection between ministries and their donors. The beauty of ShareMedia Services is they are a team of experts in their field that over the past four decades have been serving radio and ministries to reach fundraising goals. I watched and worked on air with Todd Isberner back in 1998 at a KSBJ Sharathon and it’s not just a hobby or new area of interest for him and the team… it’s true passion lived out to help connect the giver to the mission at hand. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and I’m pumped to be a part of it.
3. What did you learn about Christian radio while at CMB?
My time at CMB simply strengthened my love for Christian radio and the body of Christ. I learned that Christian radio is thriving… but there is so much more to be done! We all have our part to play. I know what it’s like to be behind the mic or planning that station promotion and praying that something is ‘connecting’ with the listener that is life changing. I also know what it feels like to have a station add a song and to see that song truly impact the body of Christ for good and an artist have a growing platform to speak truth and share the gospel. My time at CMB enabled me to see all of these areas and more come together and link arms for one purpose. We truly are stronger working together.
4. You also spent some time on the record side, how did that prepare you for what you do now?
My record label and indie promoter experience is where so many of my relationships were built and deepened. So from there I have a heart and deep connection with many friends at radio. While in that world you work on a National level, so I also grew in the area of promotional implementation not just for one market but for many. You go from single market thinking to a broader reach, brainstorming ideas and events that could work for many while at the same time personalizing it in a way that it really works in each specific market. In the same way ShareMedia Services works globally with radio and ministries, but then digs down into the weeds with individual markets, ministries and organizations to focus in on areas that need more attention to have greater impact for the overall mission.
5. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?
God’s word. French Press. Quiet. My glasses. My MacBook Pro. oh wait… you asked for one. 😉
6. In your opinion, where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
I think air talent can literally come from anywhere. Just take a minute and look at all the YouTube ‘stars’ that are regular people out there with a message, being consistent with delivering it in an entertaining way and people are eating it up! They are banking more than some major Hollywood actors/actresses! So am I saying go to YouTube for your next hot talent? Nope… not necessarily. But I am saying be open to watch and see who is connecting in a way you want to connect with your listeners. A connection happens with authentic presentation. You can’t teach that. You can coach it and fine tune it, but I believe people are just born with it.
7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
This is more of a heart issue… but, I believe one of the biggest obstacles is pride. My heart aches when I see attitudes of ‘you can’t really tell me anything that I don’t already know’… I’ve seen it, I’ve actually heard it spoken. It’s my hearts desire and prayer for myself and leaders within each area of our industry to always have an open mind and humble heart to hear truth and be spurred on to change, grow, give back and mentor those coming up in the ranks. If that is stagnant in anyone, then I also pray they are honest enough to step aside and let someone else step in with fresh vision.
8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Stacy Brooks (former KSBJ Radio, MD) – She first hired me at KSBJ in 1996 and was my biggest cheerleader and shaped me into an authentic and professional communicator on and off the air.
Jon Hull (KSBJ Radio) – Jon’s air check sessions and heart coached more than my ability, he helped me grow in areas of leadership and management as I watched him lead with not only professionalism but heart.
Andrew Patton (Provident Label Group) – Andrew saw something in me at KSBJ that he knew would work on the label promoter side. He hired me to work at Word Records in late 2001 and taught me everything there is to know about the world of record promotions.
Todd Isberner (ShareMedia Services) – Eighteen years ago I saw Todd’s heart and passion for fundraising in action. It’s contagious! A call from Todd and conversations over the past few years set the stage for the season I am in today. I feel more on mission with my strengths than ever before. The days ahead are bright.