The 10 Most Common Communication Problems


You may not know that before he was President of Fox News and Chairman of Fox Television Stations Group, Roger Ailes ran a corporate communications firm. He advised presidents like Ronald Reagan, celebrities, and major corporate CEO’s. In his book “You Are The Message” he lists the 10 most common communication problems that apply to speakers, executives, and leaders of all kinds. Here’s the list, because it’s worth thinking about. Which of these do you have the most difficulty?

The Power of Creative, Thoughtful Design


Steve Jobs said it very well: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” If you’ve ever doubted the ability of great design to change things, then watch this interview with Nike designer Tobie Hatfield about how a new shoe idea solved a problem. After viewing, you’ll realize that creative design may not change the world, but it can change someone’s world:

Should Churches Produce TV Programs?


It’s pretty popular these days to bash local churches producing broadcast TV programs. Even megachurches with adequate budgets for media don’t escape the criticism. After all, the history of Christian television shows us that a significant number of programs through the years were downright embarrassing, and if anything, drove people away from the faith, rather than toward it. But in spite of the mistakes, poor quality, and questionable results of some church efforts, here’s 5 reasons I still encourage churches to consider a broadcast ministry:

Why TV Is Still The Most Effective Advertising Medium


With the flood of articles and information about the move online, it’s easy to forget the power that television still holds when it comes to influence. Steve Newton from Newton Media tipped me off to a new study released recently in Adweek magazine confirming that when it comes to advertising, TV is still the king. From my perspective, this information also applies to nonprofits and religious organizations. Even though TV can be an expensive medium, it still packs a powerful punch when it comes to advertising. Here’s a few key findings of the study:

How “Clutter” Can Kill Your Creativity


I’ve written many times on this blog about the danger of “clutter.”  Clutter comes in all forms – from the media voices screaming for our attention, to the messy desk in front of us (where was that file again?) to the million other options that keep us from pursuing our creative calling.  Now, The Wall Street Journal reminds us how William Zinsser, author of the writing classic “On Writing Well” (1976) and who died May 12 at age 92, felt about clutter in our writing.  It’s worth the read:

Why You Should Stop Complaining About Being Busy

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I met three different people today, and each time, when I asked, “How are you?” The reply was exactly the same. “I’m Busy”. Honestly, I hear the same answer from the vast majority of people I meet. So I started to think: “Guess what? Everybody’s busy!” I’m busy, you’re busy, everybody’s busy. So you know what? You being busy doesn’t make me sympathetic at all. Because

The Greatest Secret for Breakthrough Creativity

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While I believe that everyone is creative, the truth is, real breakthrough creativity is rare – because it takes work, skill, and courage. But many pursue it, and as a result, there are thousands of websites, social media feeds, books and other resources on creativity. But from my perspective, the greatest secret for breakthrough creativity can be taken from a quote from novelist Kingsley Amis:

The Secrets to Producing Successful Media Projects Overseas


Shooting internationally can be an incredible experience. Over the years, our team at Cooke Pictures has produced programming in more than 60 countries around the world, and we’ve only experienced a handful of bad incidents. That’s not to say things haven’t been difficult – like when we did an interview with a Brazilian drug dealer while his gang held a gun on our cameraman, or when my crew was arrested at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria, or when we got caught up in a military coup. There’s been more, but you get the picture. During it all, we’ve learned a few things about how to keep those incidents to a minimum, so the next time you produce an overseas project, maybe this list will help: