Storytelling Through a Business Prism


What’s All the Fuss About Semantic Search?

Google wants the best content to win. The more Google serves up content for searches that you find useful, the more likely you keep returning to the search engine. The company’s business model depends on this concept with the high volume of traffic to organic search essentially feeding paid search, the ads that appear above …more

What Happens to Journalism When It’s All About the “Bass”

A “turn-the-crank” mentality to generate a relentless stream of articles shapes journalism at many media properties. Of course quality suffers. While you can find a slew of articles in which journalists lament the issue in theoretical terms, here’s an example from a major publication that makes it all too real. Check out “How Chick-fil-A’s Restaurants …more

Sifting Through Journalists’ Gripes and Grumbles for PR Lessons

Since I embarked on my PR adventure in 1983, everything has changed. Except one dynamic. Journalists griped about PR folks back in 1983, and they’re still griping today. To be objective, the bad behavior of a select few cultivates “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (yes, I did take away a few more morsels …more

Brand Extensions, Shortcuts by Journalists and Rejection as a PR Strategy

It’s been a couple months since my last Grab Bag post. With over 10 items in the queue, I made some tough choices on the three vignettes that made the cut. Here goes. Extending a Brand Too many companies extend their brands in ways that trade incremental revenue for flinging an incongruent message to their customers. …more

Why Do PR Pros Choose Not to Speak Out?

For a profession that advocates the power of taking a stand, there are precious few PR executives who take their own  advice. Several factors conspire to keep PR executives on a vanilla message. At the risk of generalizing, I think it’s fair to say that most PR people enjoy working in the background. Like a …more

A Peek Behind the Curtain of Business Insider’s Newsroom

Four of our account professionals attended “Inside the Newsroom with Business Insider” organized by PRSA Silicon Valley earlier this month. It gave folks the opportunity to hear from two of Business Insider’s tech reporters,  Jillian D’Onfro and Matt Weinberger as well as Technology Section Editor and San Francisco Bureau Chief Matt Rosoff. I’m pleased to …more

Author Reflects on The Harmony of Words and Visuals in Storytelling

Imagine one blog post causing such a ruckus that readers demanded a book. That’s essentially what happened to Ella Frances Sanders when she created the post “11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures” in 2013. Roughly 12 months later, her book “Lost in Translation” hit the book stores and was an instant hit. Amid considerable media …more

Common Ground Between Storytelling and Leaders Who Inspire

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I met Raf Stevens. He’s part of what I refer to as the “storytelling posse” on Twitter, those evangelizing business storytelling 140 characters at a time. Not one to limit his narratives, Raf recently published his second book “Leadership, Storytelling and the Power of Connection” which explores the role of …more

How to Interview a Dead Person (and the Potential PR Implications)

Given the headline, you might be thinking that my binge watching of Dexter has gone too far. Relax. I’m not suggesting you literally interview the deceased. Instead, the idea is to go back in time to interview a famous person by “borrowing” from existing video footage. shows the way in creating a video in …more