Archive: 2008


The Evolution Of The Tiny Story

If you ask people what’s the one digital device they absolutely can’t live without, the mobile phone comes out as the clear leader. That’s why you have industry heavyweights like Google’s Eric Schmidt calling mobile advertising the  single most exciting opportunity for the do-no-evil guys as far back as 2006 (The Wall Street Journal). It also …more

The Quickest Way to a Dull Story: Jargon

The condemnation of jargon in news releases has gone on since the invention of the tool, with the latest salvo coming from Ben Worthen at The Journal. This is a tough one. You can articulate a rationale worthy of the Wiley College debate team, but a given company will still insist on inserting wonderful phrases like …more

Does A Good Story By Definition Need To Be Authentic?

The rise of the blogosphere has given prominence to the absolute necessity of communicating with authenticity. The infamous “Cluetrain Manfesto” called out this point long before the blogosphere gained traction: “Business is being transformed, but not by technology. The Web is simply liberating an atavistic human desire, the longing for connection through talk. That’s the one …more

To SEO Or Not To SEO (The Headline), That Is The Question

OK, it’s not exactly Shakespeare. But it does raise a question for communication professionals. Namely, should cleverness or search engine optimization be the guiding principle in writing a news release headline? I pondered this question after reading the interview conducted by Brian Pittman from the Bulldog Reporter with Meredith Artley, executive editor of Specifically, Artley shared: “We have a graining …more

Stark Contrast Makes For A Good Story

There’s nothing like contrast to accentuate the telling of a story. In our “art of storytelling” training I like to discuss the difference between “what was” and “what is.” The greater the delta between these two points the greater the drama in the story. There’s a terrific example of contrast in Monday’s USA Today profile on Teresa …more

The Old "Come Back From The Dead" Storyline

Certain storylines never go out of style. People love to see bullies get punched in the nose (like when Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly clocked Biff in “Back to the Future”). Perseverance overcoming all obstacles is another can’t-miss theme. But there’s no story quite like coming back from the dead to spike the ratings. Such was the …more

You Say "Freakin," I Say "Freaking"

  I’ve been thinking about the headline of the Scoble post I addressed last week: “What do the freaking tech bloggers want?” Specifically, does the periodic cuss word (or derivative) enhance storytelling or at the very least command attention? I think the power of a cuss word can come from the element of surprise. If Martha Stewart drops …more

In Pursuit Of Bloggers: Disconnect Between Storytelling And PR

Robert Scoble, the poster child for escaping corporate cubedom for the virtual pulpit, penned a post titled “What do the freaking tech bloggers want?” It’s a convincing view. A bit longwinded perhaps, but if “Scobleizer” is etched in your masthead, you get a pass to periodically pontificate. An earlier Scoble quasi-rant emphasized that through customers, not the PR function, is the …more

Even A Niche Small-Biz Trade Can Go For A Chuckle

You don’t think B2B trade publications have a sense of humor? Think again. SmallBusinessComputing recently covered a new storage device from Fabrik with the following photo and caption: Pass the Wasabi: What looks like an elegant way to serve sushi is, in fact, Fabrik’s eco-friendly, bamboo-encased external drive. The juxtaposition of the wasabi and a hard …more