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 10/30/14 at 11:04 AM | Phil Cooke
Sometimes we forget that in the swirl of gadgets, productivity apps, and mobile devices, paper is a long way from being dead. Maybe that explains why notebooks like Moleskin and Field Notes are more popular than ever. Particularly as a creative medium, even with mobile devices or an iPad and stylus, there’s something about working on traditional paper. As you can see in this commercial, at least the French get it:
What about you? Do you prefer taking notes on paper, or a screen?
Posted 10/29/14 at 9:47 AM | Phil Cooke
A few months ago, Jim Knaggs, Commissioner of the Western Territory of the Salvation Army gave me a sneak preview of a new advertising campaign. It was unusual because most nonprofits advertise to either the public or potential donors. But this campaign was focused on people in need. As a result, bus stop ads pointed homeless people to the closest Salvation Army shelter. The inside lid of city trash cans featured ads that gave directions to a nearby food bank. What typically looked like a “tear off” flyer for a lost pet or roommate, was designed to help those struggling with addiction. Commissioner Knaggs showed me that The Salvation Army believes when it comes to meeting great needs, there’s a powerfully important place for innovation and creativity.
Two thoughts come to mind: FULL POST
Posted 10/28/14 at 9:29 AM | Phil Cooke
At some point in our careers we need to decide how serious we are about the pursuit. As the old saying goes: “The thinking that got you into this mess isn’t the thinking you need to get out.” All of us start as beginners or amateurs – and there’s no shame in that. But at some point, some decide that the pursuit is worth the self discipline it takes to reach the next level, while others decide to stay where they are. I could use a million examples – maybe you’re restarting or changing careers, perhaps you’re a divorced or single mom. You took time off for school or to raise a family. I met a man recently who had spent years caring for his terminally ill wife, and now needed to get back into the workplace.
Whatever it is, there’s a point where a “soccer mom,” a man changing careers, or someone else in transition decides to become a professional leader. Here’s a handful of decisions he or she needs to consider in order to arrive at that destination: FULL POST
Posted 10/27/14 at 10:07 AM | Phil Cooke
As a speaker, I’ve been introduced a thousand times, and I can confidently say that most didn’t really help. Usually they simply print out my bio from philcooke.com and read it. Trust me, a bio on a website isn’t meant to be a live introduction, so it comes off slow and boring. The worst don’t do any homework at all, and make embarrassing mistakes that are hard to fix. So after being subjected to so many horrible speaker intros, here’s a few tips that will help your introduction be as interesting as the speaker:
1. Don’t read a printed speaker biography. Printed bios are long and too detailed to be used in a live event. Plus, reading a bio tells the audience you don’t know the speaker, and don’t care enough to do your homework.
2. Keep perspective. People have come to hear the speaker, not the introduction. Chances are, they already know him or her, so you don’t need to tell the speaker’s life story. Plus, if the speaker’s biography is printed in the conference program, that’s another reason you don’t need to rehash it. FULL POST
Posted 10/24/14 at 9:40 AM | Phil Cooke
As of January 2013, there are more mobile devices in the world than people. (In India, there are more mobile devices than toilets, but that’s another blog post entirely.) The question becomes – is your message available on mobile platforms? Are your short films, videos, sermons, teaching, blogs, or whatever else available via mobile? If not, you’re missing a massive audience that is only growing. New research indicates Millennials in the US check their smartphones 45 times a day, and 67% of Millennials use two or more mobile devices daily. In this short video, I share why it matters:
Posted 10/22/14 at 9:23 AM | Phil Cooke
One of my favorite quotes is from writer Anne Lamott: “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth, you can point with it too.” In the age of the internet, most of us do a lot of chopping and not enough pointing. In the best instances, we’re upset and trying to right a wrong, and in the worst instances, Internet anonymity has created vicious critics and quite a few crazy loons. Either way, I think Anne is right. As a result, I’m changing the tone of this blog. Whether I’ve been right or wrong, I’ve sometimes been too critical in the past, and honestly, there’s no point to criticism if it can’t be delivered in a way that makes people want to change. FULL POST
Posted 10/21/14 at 9:46 AM | Phil Cooke
From time to time I’m asked “Is anyone doing Christian media well?” It’s a good question, since so many are doing it badly. I often joke that I want to create a Museum of Bad Christian Media, but I can’t find a building big enough. But the truth is, many are doing it right. So from time to time on this blog I’m going to highlight media leaders and organizations that are making a difference. This list isn’t about theological persuasion or doctrinal differences. It’s about people who are making a significant difference through media. Here’s a handful we can start with:
Brian Houston – Pastor, Hillsong Church in Sydney. When it comes to legacy, Brian will have built a pretty serious one, and a significant part of that is media. Hillsong Church created a worship music platform before many knew what worship music was, and from Darlene Zschech to Hillsong United, they’re changing the way the church worships. He’s built a team that’s not only launched churches around the world, but used television, short films, social media, and now feature films to share a message about Jesus. Hillsong NYC’s “No Other Name” campaign in Time Square was seen throughout the world, and the feature film “Let Hope Rise” featuring Hillsong United will be released the week of April 1, 2015 by Warner Brothers Pictures. FULL POST
Posted 10/20/14 at 11:46 AM | Phil Cooke
It started when Fox News broke the explosive story: “The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, or gender identity. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.” The Houston Chronicle reported it began with Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance driven by Annise Parker (pictured above), Houston’s first openly lesbian mayor and approved by the city council in June. A group of Houston pastors opposing the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot. But in a controversial turn the city unexpectedly tossed out the petition in August over alleged “irregularities.” The opponents of the non-discrimination bill (which originally included among other things that men could use women’s restrooms and visa-versa – but that point was pulled early over the criticism) filed a lawsuit, and the city attorney responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors. FULL POST
Posted 10/15/14 at 9:10 AM | Phil Cooke
It’s widely believed that in the digital age, television is dead. But as with many rumors, nothing could be further from the truth. That lesson is supported by recent research from Nielsen Ratings. Plus, you’ll be surprised at who’s watching TV versus spending time online. Here’s some of the findings:
Number of TV channels in the average home in America: 189
Number of channels consistently watched per home: 17
50% of all TV viewing comes from 20% of the audience.
705 minutes – the average time “heavy” viewers watch TV per day.
86% of Americans use their smartphones as a “second screen” while watching TV. But watching TV is their primary behavior.
There’s much more in the report, and here’s a list of Nielsen reports on media and entertainment. My point is that we don’t learn anything from rumor and myth. Understanding behavior is critical to connecting with audiences in the 21st century. FULL POST
Posted 10/14/14 at 10:30 AM | Phil Cooke
In the digital age, there’s plenty of controversy about traditional advertising versus digital advertising and social media (not to mention guerrilla advertising.) But a recent survey from HUB Entertainment Research reveals the truth about how people find new TV programs. The results may be surprising:
58% – Traditional Advertising
41% – Word of Mouth
34% – TV Channel Guide
20% – Facebook Post
19% – Editorial Content
11% – Previews
10% – Recommended by Sites and Apps
6% – Twitter Post
4% – Other Social Media
In the survey, nearly 60% of viewers aged 16-64 who watch at least 5 hours of TV per week and use social media at least once a month say they started watching a new show because of traditional advertising. And according to Variety Magazine, once viewers become fans of a show, about half will engage with the content on social media, but they don’t make it a habit. FULL POST