Should I Be Careful with “Branding Experts?”


When I wrote my book “Branding Faith” in 2008, the word “branding” had hardly been uttered inside a church or other Christian organization. In fact, the amount of criticism I endured just trying to start the conversation was enormous. People just didn’t want to believe the power of perception or identity and the role it played in getting people to listen to your message, buy your product, or donate to your cause.  But since that time, things have changed, and

The Secrets to Having More “Eureka!” Moments


Joseph Guinto, writing in the American Airlines magazine, shares the secrets to having better “aha!” moments. I’m a big believer that real, long term creativity is a matter of showing up every day and doing the work. However, there’s no question that “Eureka!” moments happen, and as Guinto says, we can create an atmosphere where they tend to happen more often.  Along with Guinto’s advice, here’s a few keys that have helped me discover more creative breakthroughs:

A Top Real Estate Expert Shares 5 Ways Churches Can Be More Effective With Direct Mail

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I recently had lunch with my friend Rodney Johnson, who’s a top real estate agent in Los Angeles, specializing in multi-million dollar homes. As the broker/co-owner of a large real estate firm in the uber-competitive LA residential market, he’s learned over 28+ years how to find clients using virtually every legitimate means possible. That includes door knocking, cold calling, door hangers, and direct mail. For the last four years, he’s gained listings in multi-million dollar communities through unique direct mail pieces.  Plus, his church – Freedom Church — was doing the same thing to grow their congregation. So I asked him to give us his secrets for making an impact with local direct mail. Here’s what he said:

Creativity: Learning To Forget How Things Work


This is our granddaughter Kennady.  I spend a lot of time watching her, and obviously, since she’s only a year old, she hasn’t had much time to learn how things work. As a result, the first few times I gave her a book, she had no idea what “reading” was, so she walked on it, set it up like an A-frame house, or used it for a plate. It’s been that way with everything. Since she doesn’t yet know the way things are “supposed” to be used, she just makes it up, and has come up with some pretty remarkable uses for things like

Why TV Is Still The Most Effective Advertising Medium


With the flood of articles and information about the move online, it’s easy to forget the power that television still holds when it comes to influence. Steve Newton from Newton Media tipped me off to a new study released recently in Adweek magazine confirming that when it comes to advertising, TV is still the king. From my perspective, this information also applies to nonprofits and religious organizations. Even though TV can be an expensive medium, it still packs a powerful punch when it comes to advertising. Here’s a few key findings of the study:

Why Brainstorming Rarely Works


Brainstorming is popular – way popular – especially in corporations and nonprofit organizations. But the truth is, research has shown over and over that people produce better quality ideas when they start by working alone. And yet, companies, nonprofits, and churches have enshrined “brainstorming” as the #1 go-to method for coming up with new ideas. Why?

Why Can’t Churches and Other Christian Organizations Work Together?

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I’m in South Africa speaking at the African Christian Media Conference, and one of the biggest questions leaders in this country face is how to partner to make a greater impact in the culture. Getting churches, ministries, nonprofits and similar organizations to join together to launch a nationwide campaign – particularly in the media – is a challenge everywhere. But that challenge isn’t new. The Bible charts the story of leaders like Moses, David, Paul, and even Jesus struggling to unite the people of their time. After all, one of the last

Creatives: Do You Struggle With The Question: “So, What Do YOU Do?”


At parties or other social events you get the question all the time:  “So, what do YOU do?”  If you’re an struggling actor, producer, director, or other media professional, it’s an awkward moment.  Even after decades of making TV programs, documentary films, online media, and consulting with large organizations, it’s still tough for me.  It’s called “Status Anxiety.”  It comes from discomfort or fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves being judged or evaluated by others.  If you’ve struggled in your career, and have trouble with the “So what do YOU do?” question, you need to watch this video:

How Social Media Hashtags Can Backfire

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Social media “hashtags” have become a ubiquitous part of posting, since it expands our visibility and helps generate more viewers. They’re particularly helpful with generating momentum for a cause or campaign. But what many leaders don’t realize is the possibility that hashtags can backfire. Recently, American Airlines posted a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #GoingForGreat. It’s purpose was to motivate followers to share on social media how they’re AA’s biggest fan. Here’s the exact post: