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Storytelling Through a Business Prism

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Storytelling Wisdom from Bestselling Author

I interviewed author Ella Frances Sanders in 2015 after her book “Lost in Translation” had caused quite a sensation and landed on the NY Times bestselling list for four months. I remember thinking how improbable that a single blog post, “11 Untranslatable Words from Other Cultures” could morph into a bestseller. Thanks to over 2 …more

Game of Thrones Depicts the Best of Persuasive Language

I’m not talking about our friend Lord Baelish who discovered that chaos wasn’t exactly a ladder. I simply like the line. With the last season of “Game of Thrones” soon to kick off, it’s a good time to dust off a lesson in persuasive language from the show. Let’s turn our attention to Tyrion’s plea …more

I Wrote 1,000 PR Blog Posts and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

Writing feeds my soul, so producing 1,000 blog posts on public relations, storytelling and everything in between hasn’t exactly been combat duty. Still, there’s something about a round number with three zeroes that causes one to pause, to consider what went into this corporate blogging journey. Even though the destination was unknown, my anxiety was …more

I Still Believe Levity Is the Killer App for Business Storytelling

I wrote about Zappos using levity as the killer app in its communications a few years ago. Before going further, it’s worth noting that levity has a lower bar than humor. We’re not trying to channel Jon Stewart or Conan O’Brian. Levity delivers a smile, a grin (bigger smile) or, at its best, a low-decibel …more

The News Release Isn’t Dead Yet

The news release was born on Oct. 28, 1906. Fast forwarding to 2015, organizations distributed roughly 762,000 news releases on wire services. Our back-of-the-envelope math figures 30 hours went into each news release at $200 per hour. The punch line — Organizations spent around $4.5B on the creation of news release back in 2015, a …more

300,000 Books, Let Me In and Pogonophilia

The grab-bag post returns for the first time in 2019. As a refresher, I invented the grab bag as a forum to share three shards on business communications that otherwise couldn’t stand on their own. Here goes.   Who Will Get the Books? Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld died last month. According to Le Figaro, the …more

Putting a Face on a Company

Check out the headline in The Wall Street Journal last month. “Apple Teams with Jack Ma” The headline didn’t say “Apple Teams with Alibaba.” Why? And don’t say because the word “Alibaba” wouldn’t fit in the space for the headline. It turns out that both words take up seven characters. I think it’s because the …more

The Story Is Always There

This headline serves as our mantra for 2019. Every company, even those who fancy “math is fun” buttons, has something interesting to share with the outside world. But these stories rarely sit on a desk with a label that reads “good story with killer anecdote inside.” Instead, it’s up to us as communicators to poke …more