Tag: storytelling techniques

Visualizing Contrast, Medium as a Social Platform and Eroding Attention Spans

The grab bag returns with three random tidbits that squeeze under the communications umbrella. Here goes. Contrast as a Storytelling Technique Of all the storytelling techniques that lift business communications, contrast is one of the easiest to implement. Old Way vs. New Way With vs. Without LeBron vs. Steph (for the NBA fans) And the […]

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A Surprising Lesson from GE on B2B Branding

In preparation for our storytelling workshops, we request that participants complete some light homework. We often ask them what B2B company does a particularly good job in building its brand and public profile. With rare exception, GE wins this unaided awareness test. In a “cement mixer” with thousands of B2B companies, what is GE doing […]

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Reverse-engineering the Storytelling in a New York Times Feature

As a PR nerd, when I read a story in a publication that vacuums my attention, two questions immediately come to mind: Was PR the catalyst for the article? What storytelling techniques carry the narrative? Such is the process I went through with the NYT piece, “A Chinese Billionaire Spinning Research into Investment Gold.” As […]

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A Not-so-obvious Part to “Every Company is a Media Company”

Thanks to the wonders of Internet and WordPress, any company can rationalize the cost of digital publishing. What’s more, Google’s decision to communicate the dialing down of activities in China on its corporate blog gave street cred to owned media. Since Google’s act on January 12, 2005, organizations of all shapes and sizes have become […]

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Lee Kuan Yew, His Communication Skills Also Defied Convention

  Since Lee Kuan Yew’s passing, every media outlet in the free and not-so-free world has chronicled his accomplishments. If you haven’t spent time in Southeast Asia, it’s hard to appreciate the “miracle” of transforming this speck of geography into a world-class economy. It’s not quite Moses parting the Red Sea, but it’s close. I […]

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Should HR Be Telling Stories?

I’m not referring to fiction or fabrication. The question relates to the role of storytelling techniques in the HR function. The question also happened to be the thrust of my talk at the Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS) conference last week in Hong Kong. It turns out that one can make an argument for HR more […]

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Return of Ishmael’s Greatest Storytelling Hits

Taking a page from the music industry, I introduced our “greatest storytelling hits” in 2013 pulling from posts published before 2011. Now I’m going back to the well, showcasing some of my favorite posts published between 2011 and 2013. I hope you’ll find that they still have relevance and some spunk. 1. An Open Letter to […]

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Anecdote Takes Center Stage in a National News Story

That’s exactly what happened last week when CNN covered President Obama’s intention to veto the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to Mexico. Check out the headline. “Meet the pen Obama used to veto the Keystone XL pipeline.” Obviously, the focus of the story lies on a Presidential decision. Yet,  the pen […]

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Contrast as a Storytelling Technique in Business Communications

In conducting our storytelling workshops, the concept of contrast is one technique that always resonates with participants. I think of contrast as a poor man’s failure. Several posts have highlighted the power of failure in lifting a narrative, but most companies won’t go there. When was the last time a CEO barked “OK, let’s focus […]

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