Archive: May 2010


Communications Versus Behavior During a Crisis

Communications at its best serves as a company’s conscious, ensuring that the decisions and actions of the company align with the words being shared with the outside world. At no time does this become more important than during a crisis. Before going further, we should acknowledge the money factor. In the quest to serve shareholders, companies …more

Pogue Wraps Product Review in Allegory

The typical product review has a happy ending. By that, I mean the end of a review usually calls out one product as the best choice. In spite of the “happily every after” – at least for one company – you don’t associate the product review genre with storytelling. Instead, these articles strive to clinically attach a value to …more

BP Letter On Crisis Shows Common Sense (In Stark Contrast To Toyota Approach)

The communications controlled by a company during a crisis – not the media coverage – provide the best indicator of competency (or lack thereof). If you can’t get the communications under your control right, you have zero chance of winning over others to carry your story forward. That’s why I characterized Toyota’s crisis communications as amateur hour. The company’s first open …more

Advertising Gets Narrative

It pains me to say what I’m about to say. Advertising recognizes the power of narrative more than the PR profession. This isn’t to say that PR efforts aren’t using storytelling techniques (sorry for the double negative, Mr. Harper). There are consultancies like us as well as corporations who have got the storytelling religion. But you don’t see narrative …more

The New York Times Shows Three Pictures Are Worth 3,000 Words (Or So)

  There’s no question that photos like the one above that accompanied a New York Times article on China’s surging demand for coal accentuate storytelling. In some cases, we’re actually seeing storytelling revolve around visuals like the seafood charticle in WIRED Magazine. I think The New York Times does a particularly good job in building their stories around a …more

Storytelling in Social Media and Traditional Media

    I spoke at the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on storytelling a couple weeks ago. The talk triggered interest from a Chinese publication which asked me two questions via e-mail:  How does storytelling impact today’s traditional media as well as social media? How does storytelling benefit business executives and their respective companies?  …more