Archive: November 2009


Power of Contrast Comes Through in McDonald’s Story

When contrast is so great that it challenges our assumptions, you’ve got the makings of a good story. So it is in The Huffington Post article, “McDonald’s Gets Modern European-Style Makeover in NYC.” Is there a restaurant interior more dreary than the classic McDonald’s? Clearly, the original objective for the seating area was to make …more

Crafting a Guest Post with Entertainment Quotient

The vast majority of my posts address topics outside the confines of the Agency. My last company-centric post was back in July, taking a trip down nostalgia lane with our 21-year anniversary in mind. With the caveat out of the way, I wanted to highlight a guest post from Wei Wang out of our Beijing …more

Transforming Table Scraps into Energy Makes for a Good Story

Compelling storytelling in business often threads together anecdotes and numbers into a single tale. This dynamic comes across loud and clear in the USA Today article “Utility Turns Table Scraps into Electricity” by Julie Schmit The story focuses on the East Bay Municipal Utility District in the San Francisco Bay Area and its first-of-a-kind treatment …more

Borrowing from Crocodile Dundee, "Now That’s an Anecdote"

Like most business publications, the Journal has been covering the maneuvering related to the Supreme Court addressing the question on intellectual property: When can a business method be patented? As you would expect, stories have revolved around attorneys and CEOs informally pleading their cases that just so happen to align with their own interests. Not …more

A Mass Comms Curriculum Alone Short-sheets Tomorrow’s PR Pro

I was delighted when Steve Farnsworth asked me to contribute a guest post to his blog. The content follows. While it’s not exactly focused on storytelling, it still falls under the communications umbrella. Steve originally approached me to share my perspective on the changing role of internal PR practitioners. No question, the economic downturn has …more

Classic Storytelling Still Requires Local Characters

Boy meets girl. David topples Goliath. Money. Overcoming hardships. Goliath meets girl. All the basic themes of classic storytelling work in any culture and in any language. But this doesn’t mean you can develop stories in your home market, fling them over the fence to far-reaching countries and expect them to resonate with the local …more

Never Underestimate The Power Of A Great Story

The headline comes from a Canal+ video (brought to my attention by one of our vice presidents, John Radewagen). Our protagonist in this story cheats death four times by his recollection in the space of 74 seconds: Bullets Cut-down tree Waterfall Lumber mill blades Of course, the real twist comes at the end when he …more