Who Are You? (In 5 Words or Less)


Today’s personal branding challenge:  Describe yourself in five words or less.  What is it that defines you, captures your story, and makes you stand out from the pack?  Like a movie log line, being able to pitch or describe yourself in five words or less, is a valuable tool.  The next time you meet a potential funder, a producer for your project, a future boss, publisher, agent etc – you may only have a minute or two to

Two “Unique” Christmas Gifts


I have two great Christmas gift ideas for this year, and you can order them in plenty of time for Christmas.  My latest book is “Unique:  Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.”  If you’re a leader, artist, filmmaker, creative, pastor, business or nonprofit leader, you need this book on your shelf.  A number of leaders are buying multiple copies for their leadership team, communications team, and board of directors.  This is the most definitive book on

If Your Audience Isn’t Responding


It’s nice to create interesting media programming, but unless your audience responds in some way, you won’t last long. At Cooke Pictures, our mantra when it comes to media presentations is “action.” If you’re not getting a response, the first place you should look is viewer fatigue. In other words, is the audience simply tired of seeing what you’re presenting? Too often, we as programmers or advertisers get into a rut. Spots look alike, and producers use the same voice over artist, show the same graphic style, or tend to write the same way – over and over again. Viewer fatigue means that people are simply getting tired of it all. If your media isn’t getting much of a response, here’s some ideas to consider:

Impact Isn’t Always About Numbers


ROI (Return on Investment) is an impressive business sounding term, which means in business, it’s important. If you’re selling widgets then you need to track sales, and knowing how many widgets you sell versus how much you spend on manufacturing, sales, advertising, and marketing is important. But how about nonprofit organizations? In some cases, tracking ROI is very informative. How many water wells did you build based on donations to the project? How many meals did you distribute as a result of the grant? The truth is accountability matters, and particularly when it comes to future fundraising,

Does Your Product or Brand Influence Culture?


Brand expert Simon Williams says “Brands that influence culture sell more; culture is the new catalyst for growth.”  The concept of changing culture is hot.  Look at Google – it’s revolutionizing the way we work online – both personally and corporately.  There’s also a rush for brands to be green and help the environment.  Those brands are getting a lot of buzz right now.  Right or wrong, the perception of impacting culture adds an important layer to your

Disrupt Something, and Think the Unthinkable


When was the last time you shook up the thinking at your office? If it’s been too long, then maybe it’s time to start thinking the unthinkable, seeing what nobody else can see, and breaking a few rules. We are all creatures of habit, and it usually takes a jolt to shake us out of our rut. I know – I wrote a book on the subject. But climbing outside the rut is exactly where we need to be.  So start tomorrow.  Think of the projects you’re facing at work, and then think of the most

Is Your Communications Budget Slim To None?


We just wrapped an incredible Young Creative Leader Conference in Hyderabad, India, but until I can get back to the states, I’m having some great communications and media experts fill in with some guest posts.  Today’s post is from someone I consider the most thoughtful and effective church communications director in America – Kem Meyer.  Kem is the Communications Director at Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana.  Today, she writes a post that will speak to everyone who works in a church, ministry, or nonprofit setting.  What if your communications budget is slim to none?  Here’s her answer:

Uncreative People Can Be Extremists


First of all, I believe all people are capable of being creative. Don’t believe me? Just check out a kindergarten class. Who’s not creative in that bunch? We’re all born creative, but somewhere along the line, some people choose to follow a different path. Which is why I believe you’re either a person who doesn’t realize how creative you could be, or a person who chooses to be uncreative. And in some cases, some choose to be

Is Your Brand Enriching Someone’s Life?


Looking out over the horizon, the hottest and fastest growing brands bring value to people’s lives. That’s why there’s a huge opportunity right now for brands that make a difference. Back in 2006, advertising legend Bob Greenberg said, “The real opportunity for brands now lives in finding ways to enrich lives.”  What about your product? It might be a