The Origins of the College Student Assault Against Free Speech


I don’t normally write about social issues, but with so much media coverage and hundreds of articles written about the assault on free speech from students at the University of Missouri, Yale, Claremont, and other colleges, I wanted to make a connection. From objections about Halloween costumes, to the right to a “safe place,” to shouting down speakers they don’t agree with, to a hundred other “micro-aggressions,” today’s college students are being called “cry bullies” for wielding their victim status like an axe. Where in the world did this come from? And while 

How ISIS Uses Media to Expand Its Influence


President Obama’s declaration recently that ISIS had been “contained,” asserting that the terror cell had been stalled in Iraq and Syria, has been picked apart from lots of angles – especially after the Paris attacks happened just hours later. Along with the other criticism of the statement, it also reveals how little most of us understand that

Forget Your Ability If You Can’t Get Visibility

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In today’s hyper-competitive, distracted culture, it’s time we realized that it’s not the customer’s job to find you, donate to your cause, or buy your product, it’s your job to find them. I was in a meeting with a business group the other day and one of the board members vented in frustration: “We’ve been producing an incredible product for decades! Why aren’t people buying it?” I told him that’s analog thinking from yesterday. In the old days 90% of the battle was

Porn When You Don’t Want It


Just when you thought you had protected your family from pornography on the computer, there’s another threat that’s potentially even more significant. The new porn highway that drives right into your family home is available via your mobile devices. Sure you can filter search engine results there as well, but what I believe are much bigger threats are

The End of The Cult of Self-Esteem?

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Culture Watch:  You absolutely have to read this article from Britain’s “The Telegraph” written by Allison Pearson. I picked it up when Kathleen and I were in London this summer helping produce the media for The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary at the O2 Center. Essentially, it’s the story of a school in Lancashire that has banned naughty children. Actually, what they mean is (ignoring several centuries of compelling evidence) the school had decided there is no such thing as a a naughty child, there is only

An iPhone, a Banyan Tree, and the Power of Distraction


We recently went on a family vacation to Hawaii, and while on the island of Maui, we spent an afternoon in old town Lahaina. In the center of town is an magnificent Banyan tree that’s more than a hundred years old. There was a craft fair going on under it’s widespread branches so there were lots of people milling about. I noticed that one young tourist in particular was stunned at the size and beauty of the tree. She’d never seen one, so she immediately

Using the Power of Architecture to Tell Your Story


In a world where so many churches are drab buildings, or where leaders could care less about building design, I was reminded about the power of architecture after my wife Kathleen noticed Grace Community Church in New Caanan, Connecticut. Their design is really remarkable, and its been covered in major media outlets across the country, allowing them a remarkable way to share their story. In my book “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” I have a section called “The Branded Building.” Here’s how I put it:

Playboy Starts Covering Up. Is That A Good Thing?


By now, nearly everyone has heard about Playboy magazine’s decision to cover up their models – at least a bit. In the age of online pornography, where extremes have become so accessible (and acceptable), Playboy has become pretty tame by comparison. And their drop in subscribers confirms that people are going elsewhere for their porn fix. At it’s peak, Playboy boasted

Terrorism And The Value of Public Relations and Media


Just in case you wondered if media matters to bloodthirsty, violent revolutionaries, it does – in a very big way. Now that The Islamic State has taken over a vast territory, they have the challenge of winning the hearts and minds of these captured communities. To do that, the terrorist group is launching a massive propaganda campaign to pitch its idea of a utopian state for the Muslim world.  Up to this point,

New Media’s New Passion for Old Television


Just when most critics of TV were convinced online platforms had nailed the TV coffin shut, a resurrection of sorts is happening. And of all places, that TV resurrection is happening because of the online platforms we thought would would kill it. This year alone, online companies like Vice Media, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and others are moving into new territory: