The 5 Keys To A Successful Relationship with a Creative Consultant or Vendor


I am often a “vendor.” That means our company, Cooke Pictures is hired by churches, ministry organizations, and nonprofits to consult with them on issues related to creativity, media, and engaging their communities. We advise them on a wide range of issues, from video and short film production, social media, book publishing, the Internet and more. Essentially we help organizations


If You Love Jesus, “Like” This Post


The title of this post is one of the dumbest, most worthless phrases I see in social media today. It’s a cheap, easy way to jack up your “likes” without offering any real substance whatsoever. I’m ranting, because I see it used way too often on the social media pages of churches, nonprofits, and ministries. First – it’s puts the viewer in an awkward position: “What? Of course I love Jesus, so I must “like” it.”  But are you really engaging the viewer? Are they viewing your content, watching your videos, or participating in your online project?  Second –


Why Your Point Person on a Project is Critical


At some point, your organization is going to work with a vendor, consultant, or other outside group. It could be about creating or updating a web or media project, hiring a builder, engaging legal advice, fundraising strategy, or a million other possibilities. Whenever that happens, there’s a critical issue that too many organizations don’t think enough about:  Your contact person. Some call them a “liaison,” a “go-between,” or “point person.” Whatever you call your employee that handles it, that role is


Are You REALLY Open to New Ideas?

Talk to the hand

Are we REALLY open to new ideas? We like to think we are, but how often to we reactively defend the status quo – especially when someone pokes a hole in our past decisions? I work with clients for a living, which means I spend a lot of time looking at organizations and challenging them with new ideas. I try to do the same thing when it comes to this blog. But far too often, instead of at least considering new ideas, some people at the organization reflexively dismisses them without


Want to Know About an Organization? Ask The Janitor

man in red apron with sprayer

When I visit a client organization, they often send someone to pick me up at the airport. It might be a full time driver, someone’s assistant, or a janitor. But I’ve discovered that I can find out more about the organization from that person than anyone else I meet during the visit. They have the least to lose, and are the most free to share what they know.  Likewise, when I have an appointment with a leader, I’ll often show up


Working with Consultants – The 10 Biggest Mistakes


During this trip to Australia, I’ve been asked a lot about what Cooke Pictures does when it consults with major non-profit, church, and ministry clients. I realized that most people really don’t understand how outside consultants can make a difference in helping an organization get to the next level. But the truth is, in the secular arena, “outsourcing” is all the rage – especially in corporate America. The theory behind the practice is worth thinking about: If there is some aspect of your business that you don’t do well, then outsource it to someone who does. For instance, a corporation that builds computers, might not be so strong at strategic planning, or a company that manufactures sports equipment, probably doesn’t understand marketing and public relations. So they find consultants with experience and success in those areas to give them advice, training, and expertise. Could churches, ministries, and other religious and non-profit organizations benefit from the concept?