Why You Should Consider Producing “Spec” Commercials

Producers and Directors: Pay Attention

I’ve been surprised at how few young directors and producers understand the value of producing “spec spots” for their reels. Spec spots are simply made up commercials – “fake spots” if you will. They’re not paid for by a sponsor, they’re written and produced by the filmmaker for the purpose of creating an impressive demo reel. The truth is, many of today’s top movie directors and producers started as

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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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Creativity Matters to Donors

Why Content is Still King

I’ve always been amazed at the number of nonprofit organizations and Christian ministries who do remarkable work, but do such a poor job of telling their story.  I shouldn’t be surprised because after all, they’re experts at doing the work, not talking about it.  But more and more proof is coming in that donors are looking to be engaged with your content.  In fact, when you don’t tell your story well, you could be losing more than

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Five Keys To Shooting Better Videos and Short Films

I was shooting videos and short films back in the days of half-inch black and white, reel to reel recording. Since that time I’ve written, directed, and produced at least a thousand for a long list of projects and clients. During that time I’ve learned a few things about producing videos that connect with audiences and inspire them to action. Here’s five key secrets:

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The Power of a Great Tagline

What Missionaries Can Teach Us About Marketing

While reading the book “131 Christians Everyone Should Know” by the editors of Christian History magazine, legendary missionary William Carey reminded me of the power of a creative tagline. Carey, who many consider the father of the missionary movement organized a missionary society in 1792 and launched an evangelistic meeting with the line:

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Rebranding Your Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit? Here’s Five Questions To Ask First

At times, we all get frustrated with how few people are responding to our message, whether it’s in books, on social media, or broadcast radio or TV.  It just seems people aren’t listening the way they should. It could be a lot of things, including repetition, competition, or maybe the culture has simply changed. But chances are, as I discuss at length in my book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” you’re simply not telling your story well.  In that case, what we call a “re-brand” or “brand refresh” might be in order.  But don’t just leap off the branding cliff or hire a costly agency.  Before you do anything drastic, start with these five questions.  They’ll help you determine if it’s really time for a complete re-brand, or just a refresh:

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Are People Honoring You, Or Who You Represent?

Why It's Important To Know The Difference

A few years ago, I noticed something really interesting at a major Christian ministry.  It was a very respected organization, and the founder/leader was widely admired and had enormous integrity.  As a result of the leader’s long track record of excellence and earned respect, several of his executives in the organization (as his representatives,) were treated very respectfully by outsiders. So respectfully in fact, that their pride started getting them confused.  Some of them lost sight that the reason for all that respect was the founder, not them. But ego being what it is,

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