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Storytelling Through a Business Prism

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WeChat Campaign in China Offers Glimpse into the Future of Communications

  This headline and the post below appeared five years ago. Well, the future has officially arrived. Our China team is now building self-contained campaigns around WeChat every week, some of which are designed for lead generation. Think of these campaigns as social CRM or if you insist SCRM. The New York Times created a …more

“Lou, You Know What Your Problem Is?”

Years ago we resigned a big brand account in the consumer electronics space. I think the statute of limitations has run out, 10+ years, so I can share the name. You’ve probably heard of them. Sony. At the time we supported their consumer electronics business in the U.S. handling their video camcorders, cameras and laptops. …more

“Thought Leadership” vs “Thought Followship”

Commenting on an industry issue by itself does not constitute thought leadership. It’s simply a comment on an industry issue. Before going further, I should acknowledge that this remark still has value. If the executive’s comment gains traction in social channels or appears in a publication, that helps to raise the visibility of the company, …more

This is How You Course Correct a Media Story That Misses the Mark

Correcting a statistic in a media story is easy. If a company reduces its workforce by 100, but the journalist accidentally added a zero so the number reads 1,000, you reach out to the publication and they run a correction. Unfortunately, inaccuracies in media stories are often not so black and white. Context, nuance, history, …more

Testing One, Two, Three … Now Let’s Talk Storytelling Techniques

In the spirit of experimentation in communications, our London team has geeked out a podcast studio. I made the guest list when I was in town last month — I’d like to think my title had nothing to do with this honor — to discuss storytelling and specifically our Periodic Table of Storytelling. The photo …more

Law Enforcement Agencies Bring Levity to Their Storytelling

I believe levity is the killer app in business storytelling. Levity lifts the narrative, especially in the B2B tech world where inserting an action verb is considered a win. For the B2B tech companies who say this is too hard, too risky, check out the use of levity by law enforcement agencies, starting with last …more

Changing data’s image problem will allow societal opportunities to flourish

By Chris Owen, Director UK   The over-riding media narrative around personal data is that its collection is a bad, sinister entity either grabbed for a company’s own (often commercial) gain, or used nefariously to track and monitor us through our day. It’s one of foreboding and anxiety. But the opportunities with data are vast, …more

Words as an Action Film: Ira Glass on Creativity

Who doesn’t like Ira Glass? The man single-handedly popularized the podcast when his NPR show “This American Life” proved that with the right stories, the medium could reach millions. The original premise for “This American Life” was to take an individual who isn’t famous or in the news and build a narrative that captivates listeners. …more

Do Studies on Journalists Help PR Understand Journalists?

I’m not a big of fan of research on journalists. The studies always “reveal” the same core points: Don’t mass blast email pitches to journalists. Offer a point of view, not vanilla commentary. Stop foisting non-disclosure agreements on us. Read the room (understand the journalist’s readership). Corporate speak dulls the senses.   There should be …more