How to Win on Social Media Today


Last week, our team participated in Variety Magazine’s Entertainment and Technology Summit hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. It featured representatives from the top media companies in the digital space today, all discussing what’s working and what’s not.  I asked Wendy Wong, our digital strategist at Cooke Pictures to share with our readers her key insights from the event.  Here’s her thoughts:


The Power of Staying in a Difficult Situation


In the worlds of business, nonprofit, church, and universities there are plenty difficult and frankly terrible places to be. I know people working in situations where they are regularly threatened, criticized, belittled, and ignored. In my experience, it’s not so much about physical violence, but incredibly poor leaders who have no clue how to inspire their team. As a result,


The Main Thing You Need to Know About Fundraising

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So many churches, ministries, and nonprofits struggle with fundraising these days, and there’s no question that in today’s culture, there are many challenges with raising money. So I asked Tim Smith (who’s been involved in donor development for a long time, and today is the Chief Development Officer of The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.) what he considers the “main thing” when it comes to fundraising. Here’s his reply:


How to Maximize Volunteers

The Lifeblood of a Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit


One of the biggest challenges many of our clients face is maximizing their volunteer teams.  Some have just given up and don’t use them at all.  However, no matter how big your organization, you can stretch your resources and impact by bringing on motivated volunteers.  I asked Dan Wathen, our Executive Producer at Cooke Pictures about it because he’s been a church media director and knows just how effective great volunteers can be for an organization.  When it comes to creating a great volunteer team, here’s Dan’s suggestions:


It’s Time to Stop Worrying About Everyone’s Loyalty

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There was a time when loyalty was everything. My father’s generation worked at the same company for an entire career, professional athletes stayed long term with a single team, and Ford people would never dream of owning a Chevy. In those days, loyalty to a job was assumed. I’ve actually seen employees fired – not because they were incompetent – but because the boss didn’t


What to Do When People Reject Your Ideas


If you’re a creative person, at some point you’ll find a boss, investor, studio, or colleague who rejects your ideas. Sometimes it will happen so often you’ll start to question your own ability, and wonder if you’re really creative at all. In these moments (which will definitely come) my advice is:


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:


Leaders: Is A Member of Your Team Holding You Back?

Here's how to figure it out...


A large organization needed to hire an web-design agency, so they interviewed and evaluated five choices. The leadership team made the final decision, so after careful consideration it was decided by a majority which agency would be best. However, the organization’s communications director – the in-house person who would be the point person with the agency, didn’t like the choice. He wanted another web design company he knew and was more comfortable with, but he had to abide by the leadership team’s decision.  However,