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Storytelling Through a Business Prism

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It Looks Like News. It Smells Like News. Alas, It’s Not News.

The quest by both brands and publications to fool the reader continues. In response, the FTC has made a push for disclosure on sponsored content and native advertising. But what about the online search for news? I was reminded of this challenge during a client campaign that included a sponsored content spoke. If you plug …more

United Enters the Third Stage of a PR Grieving: the Shake Down

It’s been a rough week for United Airlines. When my mom — who is still getting the hang of this thing called the internet — asks if I’ll continue flying on United, you know the PR debacle has reached the masses. I have this theory that a PR crisis typically breaks down into five stages: …more

What the Hell Does the PR Guy Know About Journalism (Take 3)

I enjoy studying journalism. When it comes to business communications, journalists are the masters at storytelling. Highlighting this point, I came across the following from a New York Times review on the new Richard Nixon biography last week: “The similarities between Nixon and Trump leap off the page like crickets.There is, first and most superficially, …more

Breaking Down the Failure of Thought Leadership

Communicators have picked up the thought leadership religion. With demand for product news similar to Vote-Hillary T-shirts, many have figured out that thought leadership can bring salvation, a door opener to media coverage.Yet, for all the talk about thought leadership, there can be a huge gap between the theory and what happens on the execution …more

Microsite Makes a Case for “Storytelling Techniques” in Business Communications

Since conducting our first storytelling workshop in 2011, the honing of the material has been a never-ending process. To this point, we’ve considered the methodology as our intellectual property. It was part of how we differentiated the Agency, an approach to developing content that recognized that given a choice between dull or interesting, human beings will gravitate …more

Time for Communicators to Deviate from the Status Quo

I’ll be in Portland on April 12 talking at an IABC Oregon luncheon. I plan to use the occasion to explore whether communicators are changing fast enough. The velocity of change in today’s world can be unnerving. Cars that drive themselves. Bursts of 140-character missives that impact the Presidential election. A startup trying to invent …more

One Action That Automatically Makes You a Better Listener

I recognize the value of multi-tasking. In today’s business environment, the staccato nature of incoming requests requires one to toggle back and forth across many tasks at once. Maybe the Boy Scouts should offer a merit badge for handling Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram while cooking freeze-dried mashed potatoes. Yet, one of the inevitable downsides of …more

A Case for Uber’s No. 2 Executive Coming from the PR Ranks

Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, posted on the company’s website last week that the hunt is on for a No. 2 executive: “We’re actively looking for a Chief Operating Officer: a peer who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey.” While hiring a No. 2 doesn’t guarantee a change in a …more