Phil Cooke is changing the way business, church, and non-profit leaders influence and engage the culture. A writer, speaker, & filmmaker, Christianity Today magazine calls him a "media guru." His media company, Cooke Pictures, advises many of the largest and most effective churches & non-profit organizations in the world, and his books and online blog at philcooke.com are changing the way they tell their story. His newest book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” is set to release in July of 2012 from Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Posted 7/24/14 at 4:09 PM | Phil Cooke
If you want to have influence at any level, you need to learn how to get your ideas and expertise noticed. Too many people today have brilliant insight, but they don’t know the keys to getting anyone to listen. It’s a cluttered world out there, so if you’re going to get heard, here’s 5 key principles to remember:
1) Know where you stand. To influence anyone, you have to know your perspective on the issue and not be afraid to share it. Have an opinion. Make decisions. This isn’t the time to be bashful. Don’t be a jerk, but don’t be afraid to speak up.
2) Create something of value. Have you ever noticed that folks listen to people who have something to offer? To sell your screenplay you have to have a few on the shelf. To get interviewed in the media, it helps to have a book to discuss, or a project completed. Influencers have something to show. Don’t wait for a publisher, movie studio, or agent. Start creating now. FULL POST
Posted 7/23/14 at 11:17 AM | Phil Cooke |
I watched the network news last night and the featured stories on multiple channels weren’t the 1,500 rockets that have been fired into Israel by Hamas, but the Palestinian casualties caused by the Israeli army. The reporters never asked why Hamas has refused to agree to three cease fire offers by Israel, or that Israel would cease fire if the Palestinians simply stopped blasting rockets into Israel. On every front, Hamas is breaking the rules and yet winning the PR battle. Why?
They are willing to put their own people at risk.
This is something few armies have ever encountered and is even more insidious than the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of World War II. But Hamas actually tells Palestinians to stay at home despite Israeli warnings to evacuate. They hide bombs in schools and hospitals. As Hillik Bar wrote in The Guardian, “As Netanyahu remarked this week, Israel uses its missiles to protect citizens, whereas Hamas uses citizens to protect its missiles.” The Wall Street Journal reported that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are transporting themselves throughout Gaza in ambulances packed with children. Since Hamas has become the elected form of government, they have turned their own people into weapons. FULL POST
Posted 7/23/14 at 9:49 AM | Phil Cooke
You probably remember the (what else can I call it?) legendary farting video edited from clips from Robert Tilton’s former TV program. It was made a long time ago (who created it I have no idea), and while there are a multitude of variations now, at least one has racked up more than two million views. I bring it up because that notorious video popped up in a surprising place recently. The Hollywood Reporter featured a roundtable discussion with the producers of some of the most popular comedy shows on TV right now. In the middle of the discussion, the Tilton farting video came up. You can read the entire interview here (warning: adult conversation), but here’s the section worth noting: FULL POST
Posted 7/22/14 at 10:01 AM | Phil Cooke
The Influence Lab nonprofit organization is officially launched, and if you’re a Christian involved in media, you should be excited. It’s involved in 3 key areas:
1) Working as an media advocacy organization to help change the perception of today’s culture about Christianity.
- He who controls the narrative controls the culture, and we want to use our relationships, connections, and influence to help shape those stories in the national media.
2) Create a more effective pathway for talented Christians to break into Hollywood.
- While Christian influence in entertainment and media has made great strides, we want to aim all our guns on helping gifted filmmakers get connected to major studios and networks.
3) Train a new generation of pastors and leaders globally in how to use media in their work.
- The quote on the site from a Christian radio station manager in Bangkok, Thailand says it all: “We don’t need more missionaries, people who build houses, or high school kids on short term mission trips. But if we could just get a web-developer for two weeks, it would transform our ministry.” We get requests on a weekly basis from mission organizations globally asking us to teach and train their people in social media, technology, video, and web development. FULL POST
Posted 7/21/14 at 10:02 AM | Phil Cooke
In a recent Hollywood Reporter issue, actor Terry Crews tells a story about being on the set of the movie Expendables: “When we were doing the first Expendables, Sylvester Stallone was looking at the playback, and he said, “Man, take your moment. Never ever let them take your moment. When the camera’s on you, you have the whole movie, you have the studio, you have the audience; the whole world is yours at that moment. So take it. Don’t drop it.”"
Whether or not you’re a Sylvester Stallone fan, he’s captured an important principle in getting your talent, expertise, or message noticed. You may not be a celebrity or movie star, but we all have moments. Our moment might be delivering an important report at the office, presenting to an audience, leading a project, or solving a problem. Whatever it is, Terry’s advice is important – whatever the size of the moment – deliver. Don’t do it halfway, and don’t phone it in. Too many of us think that we’ll never get our work, our ideas, or our expertise noticed, when the truth is, we have those moments all the time. FULL POST
Posted 7/18/14 at 9:21 AM | Phil Cooke
Recently, Dr. Larry Poland, founder of Mastermedia International showed me some interesting figures first published in Slate on the number of times God gets thanks at the Oscars. As Dr. Poland put it: ”Nathaniel Rogers and Chris Kirk crunched the numbers on who gets thanked in Oscar acceptances speeches. The title of their piece says it all: “Meryl Streep Gets Thanked More Than God.” Rogers and Kirk note that over the past twelve years, 47 actors have given acceptance speeches at the Oscar ceremony. Analyzing who got thanked in each speech, they discovered that God was number 15 out of 17 categories, beating out only “Cast and Crew” and the “Role Portrayed.” FULL POST
Posted 7/16/14 at 9:26 AM | Phil Cooke
After the previous post about why brainstorming doesn’t work for many people, I received a number of comments from people who like to do it, but don’t get good results. If you’re a brainstorming person, and the method works for you, here are four keys that might make it more productive. By bringing multiple perspectives to the table, your team gains insight you might never have considered, plus you’re adding years of experience to solving the creative problem. But most brainstorming sessions don’t yield much – or fail completely. If that’s your problem, here’s four key reasons you’re not getting more from your creative team:
1) People don’t take it seriously. Effective brainstorming is serious business. You need to find the right location, eliminate distractions, have a clear set of goals, understand the problem, and assemble the right people. If you think brainstorming is about eating donuts and “kicking around ideas,” you’re probably wasting your time. FULL POST
Posted 7/14/14 at 11:05 PM | Phil Cooke
Everyone talks about "brainstorming," and for most of us, it’s a normal part of the creative process. But for years, I’ve had my suspicions about brainstorming because honestly, it rarely works for me. Keep in mind that I’m a writer, so sitting in an empty room with nothing but my laptop is pretty close to heaven. But at the same time, I love being around people – especially when it comes to making projects happen. But in the cold, hard light of day – when it comes to generating ideas, I get a lot more done by myself than with a team.
This short video captures why. Take a look and then tell me about your creative approach, and whether brainstorming is the big deal it’s supposed to be: FULL POST
Posted 7/14/14 at 10:09 AM | Phil Cooke
It started with an apparent billboard campaign from a “J. Robert Butler” to send a message to celebrities – to cool it with with all the divorces.
All over Los Angeles billboards and signs on buses started appearing to supposedly reach influencers in the entertainment industry. Apparently unhappy over his daughter’s divorce, Mr. Butler started the Society for the Prevention of Celebrity Divorce with the goal to stop high-profile divorces. And just when you thought someone had the guts to take on easy celebrity divorces, it was revealed that it’s all part of a guerrilla marketing campaign for WE-TV‘s “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.”
Few would argue that “celebrity divorce” has become ridiculous, and it undermines the importance and purpose of marriage to millions of people across this country and the world. I didn’t think this was much of a strategy, but at least it appeared someone was trying to make a difference. FULL POST
Posted 7/11/14 at 9:34 AM | Phil Cooke
Ron Friedman writing on the Harvard Business Review blog has a beef with people who constantly check their email. And you know what? He’s got a point. Friedman says, “Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email while trying to read a report or craft a presentation, disrupts our concentration and saps our focus.” And all these distractions take their toll on your productivity. He cites a University of California-Irvine study that indicates trying to get back to your original momentum after these interruptions can take more than 20 minutes. So how many of these interruptions does it take to completely ruin your day? FULL POST