Using Gimmicks: Be Careful When Communicating a Message

The dictionary defines “gimmick” as: an ingenious or novel device, scheme or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.  This may sound strange, but one of the biggest reasons I work in media ministry today is that growing up, I thought pastors were so embarrassing.  Being a preacher’s kid in the South during the 50s and 60s was tough. Pastors were always doing wacky stuff to attract attention. I remember one pastor who sat perched on a chair atop a three-story-high pole until Sunday attendance hit a certain number. Another one locked himself in the steeple, praying for revival. You may remember pastors who shaved their head if the youth program brought enough visitors. Witnessing to a friend at school was much more difficult when his big question was,

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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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Leaders: Why Eliminating Your Communications Team Is A Mistake

On Friday I received another email from a friend who was let go from a major nonprofit organization who had slashed their communication department. I had to put that email in the growing folder I’d received over the last year from others in similar situations. It seems that whenever a church, ministry, or nonprofit gets into financial difficulty, the first department to eliminate is communications. After all, do we really need that social media person or the video people? Surely we can trim our web staff, right? 

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How Well Do You Understand How People Communicate?

I love to talk about big picture issues like engaging today’s culture. But we sometimes forget that just getting your message understood by your boss, or your employees or team is critical to making the big picture happen. Two types of communicators you need to understand are people who think by talking, and people who think by doing. I’m a doer. Maybe it’s my A.D.D., but I’m really not

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Your Most Important Lesson in Church Communication

I’ve worked with hundreds of churches over the years, helping them communicate more effectively with their community, and many times on an even bigger scale. Today, there are small churches who impact people within a few blocks of their location, medium sized churches who can impact a city, and large churches with a global impact. But whatever your

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Is It Really Possible to Achieve Inbox Zero?

Like El Dorado, the legendary city of gold, the dream of catching up on your emails, and achieving an empty inbox sits out there like an unrealized myth. Sure there are plenty of websites that tell you how to reach “Inbox Zero,” but if you’re like me, you still walk away from the computer every night unable to process every email. So the question continues: Is it possible to deal with every email, every day?

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Leaders: Does Everyone On Your Team Know Your Vision?

It’s always bracing to hear leadership principles from military officers because they often have to make life and death decisions. America’s highest ranking officer, and the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. Shared some leadership insights recently at a conference that I thought worth repeating. Here’s what he had to say:

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Can You Survive In A Headline Society?

The President of Fox News, Roger Ailes, calls today’s culture a “headline society.” We now live on short, direct, and to the point soundbites. Certainly it’s not the way we’d like it to be, but the truth is, if you’re a professional communicator, giving a presentation, making a speech, or writing copy for advertising, websites, or other media, you need to think

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