The Change Revolution

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 9/11/14 at 1:57 PM | Phil Cooke

Research Confirms Broadcast TV Still Matters

Man watches TV.
Photo: Flickr/Al Ibrahim - Creative Commons

New research in June by GfK Media indicates the number of Americans now relying on over-the-air broadcast television reception has actually increased to almost 54 million, up from 46 million just a year ago. This is a pretty significant piece of data. In one year, the number of homes getting their TV signals solely over-the-air without cable or satellite has gone up almost 20%. Not a big surprise, the survey found the demographics of broadcast-only households skew towards younger adults, minorities and lower-income families.

“As we’ve seen for the past few years, over-the-air households continue to make up a sizable portion of the television viewing landscape,” said David Tice, Senior Vice President, GfK Media. “Our research reveals that over-the-air broadcasting remains an important distribution platform of TV programming, and that in the past year the estimated number of broadcast-only TV households in the U.S. has grown significantly over what we’ve seen at least back to 2008.” FULL POST

Posted 9/10/14 at 9:47 AM | Phil Cooke

The End of Brands? Abercrombie & Fitch to Drop Logo From Clothing

Photo: Flickr/Prayitno - Creative Commons

Preppie clothing store chain Abercrombie & Fitch, with 843 stores in the United States and 163 stores in the rest of the world, is making a dramatic change based on customer response. In a move that took me by surprise, they’ve announced they will eliminate identifying branding logo marks on their Spring 2015 clothing collection.

Much of the reason seems to be this generation of younger customers. Unlike teens and twenty-somethings of the last few decades, young people today are trying to be more unique. Rather than blindly sporting logos from Ralph Lauren, A&F, Hilfiger, Hollister, and others they’re mixing and matching their own looks and creating customized combinations – without designer logos. FULL POST

Posted 9/9/14 at 12:17 PM | Phil Cooke

The King's Speech and How to Turn Negatives Into Positives

A recent BBC radio documentary called “Delivering the King’s Speech” told the real story behind the feature film “The King’s Speech” – the broadcast by King George VI about the declaration of war on Germany in 1939. If you saw the Hollywood movie starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, you know that King George was thrust into the spotlight after his brother abdicated the throne. The only problem was that George had a lifelong speech impediment and was horrified of public speaking.

Through extensive training from Lionel Logue (played by Rush), King George was able to overcome his impediment enough to give a moving radio speech to the English people. What stood out for me in the documentary was the fact that scholars today believe that the King’s speech impediment actually turned out to be a positive instead of a negative. FULL POST

Posted 9/8/14 at 9:23 AM | Phil Cooke

The Problem With Chronically Late Leaders

hand holds watch
Photo: Pixabay/steinchen - Public Domain

From time to time everyone is late. We live in a world of distractions, and everything from traffic, last minute phone calls, to all kinds of emergencies make us late from time to time. The key phrase here is “from time to time.” But what happens when leaders (particularly pastors) are chronically late? Let me tell you something I hear from office, team, and church staff members all the time:

Our CEO never shows up on time for meetings, so the entire staff just sits for up to an hour waiting.
The worship service often starts late because the pastor isn’t available or we can’t find him.
The boss’s secretary has to regularly cancel appointments because he can’t be there as scheduled.
We’ve stopped scheduling anything to do with the Pastor because we never know if he’ll show up.
The pastor keeps the media department waiting to shoot video segments.
We never know how to plan Sunday services because we don’t get any information from the pastor until it’s too late. FULL POST

Posted 9/3/14 at 9:48 AM | Phil Cooke

Creativity Is About Connections

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

From time to time I write about creativity, and invariably it creates an energetic discussion. Are we born creative? Is it learned? Is it a gene? Maria Popova of Brain Pickings (one of my favorite sites) recently revealed in an interview what I think is a wonderful definition of creativity – both practical creativity and moral creativity. Take a look and let me know what you think:

The ability to connect the seemingly unconnected and meld existing knowledge into new insight about some element of how the world works. That’s practical creativity. Then there’s moral creativity: To apply that skill towards some kind of wisdom on how the world ought to work.
- Maria Popova

Essentially for Popova, creativity isn’t just coming up with new insights, it’s also the ability to make connections.  And this is something most of us need to hear: You may not be a Michelangelo, Steve Jobs, or Ernest Hemingway. You may not have unique insight that no one else has ever considered. But if you have the ability to “connect the dots” – to make unusual associations from existing information that reveals new ideas and insights – then you are absolutely creative. FULL POST

Posted 9/2/14 at 10:27 AM | Phil Cooke

How to Turn the Tables on Your Critics

If you’re a leader in politics, ministry, business, or in the media here’s something important you need to know: In today’s digital culture, you can’t hide anymore. In the old days, politicians could hide a mistress, TV evangelists could hide their jets or mansions, and anyone could hide a DUI conviction, an old arrest, and more. But today, the river of information that flows into Google is just too vast. That’s why I strongly recommend that if you’re in the public eye, you need to get mistakes and criticisms out there from the start.

For instance, in the last presidential election, if there was any truth to the media’s adultery allegations, I believe candidate Herman Cain could have overcome them had he been the first to bring it up. Once you “expose” yourself, you take away the ammo from attackers.

I recommend the same with criticism and Texas governor Rick Perry is doing this very well. After his indictment based on the allegations that he abused power with a veto last summer, he’s turning that situation in his favor. He’s created t-shirts with his mug shot as well as the democratic district attorney who was convicted of drunken driving – and he’s using it for fundraising. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/14 at 9:56 AM | Phil Cooke

Mastering Media is Knowing What Each Platform Does Best

Too many people use media randomly, with no real strategic vision. Perhaps a friend recommended local TV, or a board member suggested billboards, or a church youth director likes social media. All these platforms and others are important, but they question is: Why? While I could write many books on the subject, here’s a short list of what differentiates some of the major media platforms:

Newspaper Advertising:
• An affective way to reach 50+ adults since they are the primary readers of newspapers.
• Newspapers are by definition a local media tool and can provide opportunities to create “newsworthiness”.
• Newspapers are good for more in-depth stories.

TV:
• Research indicates the typical household watches over 7+ hours of TV daily. (Some research says 8 hours per day).
• TV still delivers the largest audiences for specific programming.
• Blockbuster movies get more publicity, but the truth is, a popular TV series reaches far more people.
• The growing number of special interest TV channels provides opportunities to target specific audiences and leverage their interests. FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 9:27 AM | Phil Cooke

The Cost of Being a Leader With Last Minute Ideas

The lesson for today:  If you’re ideas are delivered last minute, the execution will be half baked. One of the most frequent frustrations I hear from creative teams, media directors, advertising agencies, copywriters, and designers is that the executive, CEO, pastor, or other leader comes up with ideas at the last minute, but still expects them delivered on a deadline. It’s actually an age-old problem called:

Cheap / Quick / Good

This graphic says it best.

Yes – you think your team works miracles. And the truth is, they’ve probably killed themselves to meet your demands, but I can guarantee you, it’s taken a toll on their emotions, energy level, passion, and loyalty.

Keep it up, and in most cases, two things will happen: FULL POST

Posted 8/26/14 at 9:33 AM | Phil Cooke

How Your Message is Delivered is Just as Important as the Message Itself

Now before you crucify me for heresy, let me explain. My father was a pastor back in the 50’s and 60’s, and compared to today, getting his message out was easy. Church was a big part of life back then, and the distractions were very few. But today?

Here’s a few stats to put it in perspective:
The average cable network has 180 channels – some up to 500 channels.
Facebook has more than a billion users.
Social media is now the #1 activity on the web.
Some researchers indicate that the average person is bombarded with 5,000 media message every day.
You can hardly go anywhere on the planet without receiving some type of signal – cell, wifi, radio, TV, short wave, etc.

The challenge you face today is competition.  Hyper competition. Which means that with so many choices out there for a person’s attention, how your message is delivered is more important than ever. My experience is that it only takes a few seconds to decide what TV program to watch and it only takes 1 second to decide which online article to read.

Delivery matters today – and it’s not just about media.  I have a friend who refuses to visit a dentist. It’s not about the treatment or even the pain. But an incompetent dentist in the past keeps him from ever trying it again. There are millions of those stories related to bad experiences purchasing a product, attending church, and more. FULL POST

Posted 8/25/14 at 10:29 AM | Phil Cooke

You Are Not a Storyteller

This two minute interview with Austrian graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister is absolutely right on. However I hesitated posting it because of the profanity. But the subject is so good and so timely I decided to post it anyway. If you’re fed up like me with all the people calling themselves “storytellers” out there, then this is for you. He doesn’t mince words, and hence the profanity. If you’re offended, don’t watch. But if you’re not, it’s well worth two minutes:

Stefan Sagmeister - You are not a storyteller

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