14 Things Every Communications Director Needs to Know


If you work on the communications or media team at a church, ministry, or nonprofit, your job is to share the story of your organizations to the local community and sometimes the world.  While a pastor or leader may speak to the local congregation or supporters, your job is to take that message and share it on a much bigger platform.  To do that well, here’s a list of critical things you and your team need to know: 

Why Worship Leaders Should End Rehearsal Before the Congregation Comes In

Band performs on stage

Worship leaders are an incredibly important part of today’s church. But from time to time I take them to task, like in this post on What Katy Perry and Taylor Swift Can Teach Church Worship Leaders. Today I have a different issue. I’ve visited a number of churches this year that on Sunday mornings allow the worship team to continue rehearsals after the doors are open for the congregation.  As a television director, I understand the need to tweak rehearsals until you get it right. But here’s why – for most churches – it’s a mistake for the congregation to watch the rehearsal:

A Great Idea for Getting News Coverage

News Microphone On-Air

Here’s one of the most effective ways to get noticed by local media and generate positive press coverage:  Take a reporter out to lunch.  That’s right. Simple as that. Chances are in your town, you have newspaper, radio, or TV reporters who cover the subject you’re involved in. If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, someone’s covering the religious beat. If you’re a musician, writer, or artist, some reporter is covering the culture, media, or entertainment beat. There’s business and sports sections in every local paper. Whatever you do for a living, chances are, the local news outlets are covering it. We spend endless hours complaining that we don’t get coverage for our new album, movie, ministry outreach, product launch, or whatever – when the truth is,

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:

Prevent “The Easter Pageant Nightmare”


Every Spring, church media producers across the country begin a time honored and terrifying ritual:  “The Church Easter Pageant”.   These local, church sponsored theatrical presentations are usually videotaped for archives or bookstore sales, and although everyone begins the process with high hopes, they often leave media producers weeping, or screaming hysterically promising never to do it again.  Most producers are nearly finished working on this year’s presentation, but in an effort to help you keep both your sanity and family intact, here are a few tips from the Cooke Pictures archives to make this – or next Easter season a little more joyful:

Style Guidelines for Media Producers and Video Editors


In a media-driven culture, we are bombarded with advertising messages on a regular basis – some say as many as 3,000 per day. It’s a complex media jungle out there, and the truth is, that clutter is why so many programs fail today – they just can’t get noticed.  Today, to “cut through the media clutter,” the best method is often a whisper, rather than a scream. At Cooke Pictures, we’ve been working lately with our clients on some guidelines for video editors to help them understand how to make their programs contemporary and effective. In that process,

Pastors: Stop Cutting and Pasting Your Blogs


The essence of a successful blog is an honest, “behind the scenes,” authentic look at your views on something.  Whatever your blog is about – religion, media, sports, politics, culture – whatever – the first principle is that it’s from YOU.  It needs to be real, and it needs to be personal.  Right now, too many people – especially pastors – are simply

10 Commandments of Starting a Media Ministry


Aside from directing and producing numerous television programs and films, over the years I’ve also had the opportunity to help various churches and ministries begin media outreaches.  From weekly television programs, to one-hour specials, to television commercial and advertising campaigns, I’ve worked with all types of Christian organizations, helping them take a message of hope to a culture desperately in need.   In most cases, when I receive a call from a pastor, evangelist, or other ministry leader, their primary concern is usually about equipment –
“What equipment should I use?”
“Should I lease or purchase?”
“Should I videotape my Sunday service or use a local studio?”
“What about used equipment?”

These questions are important, but I’ve discovered over the years that they aren’t nearly as important as 10 fundamental areas I call:

TV Viewing Breaks Records: But What Are You Broadcasting?


Nielsen reports in today’s LA Times that the average American now watches more than 151 hours of TV a month.  That’s about 5 hours a day and an all time high – up 3.6% from last year.  During this recession people are staying at home and watching the tube, plus, it’s winter so people are coming in sooner.  At the same time, more and more programming is time-shifted, since 29% of people have DVR’s.  Something else interesting –