Communicators: Words You Choose Are More Important Than You Think

If you’re a professional communicator, you need to understand just how much your word choices can impact perception.  Just look at how much the national conversation began changing when liberals started calling themselves “progressives,” or homosexuals started calling themselves “gay.”  In other places, writers and speakers began using “extremists” for positions never even considered extreme before.  Politicians casually call each other

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Creativity Matters to Donors

Why Content is Still King

I’ve always been amazed at the number of nonprofit organizations and Christian ministries who do remarkable work, but do such a poor job of telling their story.  I shouldn’t be surprised because after all, they’re experts at doing the work, not talking about it.  But more and more proof is coming in that donors are looking to be engaged with your content.  In fact, when you don’t tell your story well, you could be losing more than

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Rebranding Your Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit? Here’s Five Questions To Ask First

At times, we all get frustrated with how few people are responding to our message, whether it’s in books, on social media, or broadcast radio or TV.  It just seems people aren’t listening the way they should. It could be a lot of things, including repetition, competition, or maybe the culture has simply changed. But chances are, as I discuss at length in my book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” you’re simply not telling your story well.  In that case, what we call a “re-brand” or “brand refresh” might be in order.  But don’t just leap off the branding cliff or hire a costly agency.  Before you do anything drastic, start with these five questions.  They’ll help you determine if it’s really time for a complete re-brand, or just a refresh:

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Are People Honoring You, Or Who You Represent?

Why It's Important To Know The Difference

A few years ago, I noticed something really interesting at a major Christian ministry.  It was a very respected organization, and the founder/leader was widely admired and had enormous integrity.  As a result of the leader’s long track record of excellence and earned respect, several of his executives in the organization (as his representatives,) were treated very respectfully by outsiders. So respectfully in fact, that their pride started getting them confused.  Some of them lost sight that the reason for all that respect was the founder, not them. But ego being what it is,

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How To Find Your Social Media Voice

Finding your authentic voice in social media isn’t that different from traditional media. I had a client once who was a TV host. The problem was, as soon as the red light came on the camera, he became a completely different person. His voice got deeper. His style became bigger. He was more over the top. The problem was – that wasn’t him. Even his friends would tell him, “Stop using your TV voice.” But many of us do the same thing on social media. We try to

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Globalizing Your Media Means Localizing Your Media

Whenever I travel internationally, I’m always surprised to find that when watching American produced religious programming, the vast majority of programs do nothing related to local audiences.  In other words, the program open and close, structure, and even commercial spots were the exact same as the program that had been broadcast in Cleveland, Atlanta, or Tulsa.  It goes without saying that creating a commercial spot with an American phone number and a price in dollars is going to fail when its broadcast in Russia, South Africa, or Bolivia.  And yet,

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The Biggest Mistake Church Leaders Can Make

 Don't Try to Be All Things to All People

Since writing my book “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of experts in the field who have significant things to say to church leaders about the power of a great brand.  One of those experts is Denise Lee Yohn, author of the book “What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest.”  I asked Denise if she could share one message with pastors and ministry leaders today, what would it be?  Here’s her answer.  It’s counter-intuitive for many, but from my experience, worth considering:

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