Everybody Has an Agenda: You Need One Too

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When Christians get critical about Hollywood, the gay community, environmentalists, or others, we always bring out the “agenda” card. “Beware the gay agenda.” “Hollywood has a secret agenda.” “This global warming agenda.”  I actually saw a comment on my blog recently warning me that “Hollywood’s agenda is to sell tickets.”  Duh. What a surprise. Here’s the truth:

Four Steps to a Better Social Media Bio

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The biography you write for your various social media platforms is critical for connecting you with people. In many cases, you don’t have much space, and with platforms like Twitter, an intriguing bio is one of the top reasons people decide to follow you. And yet, most people put very little thought into a good social media bio.  Here’s some key suggestions:

What Christians in the Spotlight Know That You Might Not

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It seems like every time a well-known pastor does a major news interview, or other visible Christian discusses their faith, appears in the secular press, or releases a controversial book, the Internet lights up with critics from the Christian community. We’re remarkably quick to “defend the faith” and point out why other believers have got it wrong or don’t see things as well as we do. (I especially like the online critics who do it behind a fake name.) I’m all for in-house discussions and debates – and even calling each other to account – but thanks to the Internet, the volume has risen so high, it wouldn’t be surprising if the secular world assumed

Five Ways To Get Your Talent Noticed In 2014

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OK – so you’ve worked hard, practiced your craft, and still aren’t getting noticed.  You haven’t sold your screenplay, been offered a movie role, gotten that position you dreamed about.  What do you do?  I’m proclaiming 2014, “The Year of Execution” which means we’re going to focus this blog on making things happen.  To that end, here’s 5 critical things that will help you get your message, talent, gift, or skill noticed in 2014:

Leaders: What To Do When a Crisis Happens

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Rarely a week goes by that you don’t see a public relations nightmare happening at a local church, ministry, or nonprofit. From a leader’s moral failing, to financial improprieties, to inappropriate sexual relationships, there are many ways a crisis can damage or destroy an otherwise great organization. And sometimes a crisis happens that’s not even your fault. That’s why I asked Kathy Lovin, who does a brilliant job managing Public Affairs and Communications for The Salvation Army USA Western Territory for some coaching on handling a crisis. Here’s her excellent advice:

What Leaders Should Learn from Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate”

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Chris Christie may be finished as a presidential candidate, and maybe not. But either way, he experienced a potentially catastrophic event this past week with his now famous “Bridgegate” problems. While the vast majority of media critics and consultants agree that he’s handling the crisis very well so far (taking full responsibility, firing people at fault, having a 2 hour press conference to deal with questions), it certainly left him in a difficult position. It’s an instructional moment for leaders of all types for two reasons:

Amazon Drones, Audacious Plans, and the Amazing Power of Buzz

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During the last week, the media has been obsessed with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement that within 4-5 years he wants to start delivering products directly to our homes via drones. It’s a wild idea, and yet Bezos has proven himself on so many levels, the idea can’t be discounted. More important, when it comes to getting your big ideas noticed, there’s some valuable lessons to be learned from the announcement:

How to Promote Yourself Without Using “I”

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When we moved to Los Angeles in 1991, I was in unknown territory. Although I had been producing and directing for years in the Midwest, including shooting projects in about 30 countries, I still felt the overwhelming need to sell myself and my ideas. As a result, every conversation was about ME. I pitched myself, pitched my projects, and used the “I” word a lot. I did this, I did that, I’m responsible for this project, I shot that, I won this award. Before long I wasn’t connecting with anyone because the truth is,

When To Intervene When Things Go Wrong

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My father, Dr. Bill Cooke (left) was a mainline denominational pastor, and during the late 60’s and early 70’s he started exploring the Charismatic renewal. As a result, he began teaching on the Holy Spirit, and our church really started growing. There was an explosion of interest in that subject at the time and people started coming from everywhere. But there was one problem:

Six Steps To Great Publicity

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From time to time you may get a book published, produce a movie, lead a major event, or do something else significant and have the opportunity to work with a public relations firm or publicist. Their job is to attract attention to your book, film, movement, business – whatever. But hiring a publicist isn’t a magic button. Perhaps in the old days of legacy media, you hired a publicity expert and then sat back and collected big paychecks based on book sales. But not today. To work successfully with a PR expert or publicist, here’s some important keys: