Joe D. Phelps’ career has evolved from drummer, to band leader, to producer, to CEO of a marcom agency in LA, to CEO of the Getting Better Foundation -- while adding the challenges and pleasures of planting trees and producing Trust Me, the documentary.


Joe spent his early career in the music industry. After a fire destroyed his recording studio, he started his marketing career at Grey Advertising, Los Angeles.  Dissatisfied with the way ad agencies were structured into strict hierarchies, Phelps started his own agency.

The Phelps Group combined a team-based structure with truly integrated marketing communications by synthesizing them into a company of self-managed people, organized into client-centric teams of specialists. Phelps detailed his approach in his 2005 book, Pyramids are Tombs. His long-term clients included Fender and Roland musical instruments, Petco, Tahiti Tourism, Swiss Tourism, Bushnell Optics, Public Storage and American Cancer Society. 

In 2015 Joe founded the Getting Better Foundation (GBF) to help build trust through truth. The mission is to help close the perception gap between how people view the world vs. what data shows as the empirical truth about the positive evolution of human behavior.  Trust Me, GBF’s first “calling card”, intends to help raise public awareness of media “ill-literacy” as a serious societal problem.

Joe lives on the Yellowstone River in Montana and enjoys helping health and environmental causes.

Films by Joe Phelps

Trust Me

Trust Me is a feature-length documentary and educational program including 15 classroom friendly film clips, and curriculum guides written by NewsLiteracyProject. Trust Me explores manipulation and misinformation at the intersection of human nature and information technology. It explains how that drives a need for media literacy. Expert interviews point the way toward a positive future. The film is produced by the Getting Better Foundation, whose mission is to build trust through the truth.