I once worked with a CEO that was obsessed with the most mundane details at his company. He led a team of more than 4,000, and yet he actually supervised the writing of the payroll checks. He studied the company’s social media posts – not for their effectiveness – but he personally wanted to deal with any critics of the company. He wanted to be in low level meetings that in my opinion were a total
One of the most surprising problems I see with leaders who are trying to raise money for humanitarian causes, ministry outreaches, or nonprofit organizations, is not calling potential donors to action. In most cases, they are so focused on telling their story, describing all the wonderful things they’re doing, and showcasing the need, they forget about the “ask.” Here’s a few things you need to remember:
When our team at Cooke Pictures works helping churches use media more effectively, one of the biggest obstacles we often face is the church’s attitude toward volunteers. Some church and media leaders think volunteers are too difficult to train, others think it’s a waste of time, and still others don’t see the impact a great volunteer team can have – particularly in media and communications. But one church – Celebration Church in Austin – led by Pastors Joe and Lori Champion have a
I once had the incredible opportunity to speak into the lives of forty top Salvation Army leaders from the Eastern Territory of the United States. We talked about engaging culture in today’s digital age, developing great teams, and becoming more effective influencers. It was a terrific time. But during our sessions, we were next door to a law enforcement conference focused on men and women from bomb squads across the country. During the breaks, I had the chance to talk to a few, and learned some ideas that all of us could use in our own leadership:
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
On Friday I received another email from a friend who was let go from a major nonprofit organization who had slashed their communication department. I had to put that email in the growing folder I’d received over the last year from others in similar situations. It seems that whenever a church, ministry, or nonprofit gets into financial difficulty, the first department to eliminate is communications. After all, do we really need that social media person or the video people? Surely we can trim our web staff, right?
There’s plenty of books, websites, and leadership resources that talk about the importance of encouragement. As Goethe said in 1768, “Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.” So rather than say more about why you need to be an encourager, let me give you a brief but powerful example of something I personally experienced:
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: