Archive: April 2011


Stanford Expands Innovation Journalism Conference To Include Communications Track

We don’t typically associate the word “innovation” with communications. Instead, communicators gravitate to “creativity” and like derivatives. Regardless of how we label it, today’s upside-down world calls for fresh approaches to communications. The status quo no longer works. Sure, you can do the same things and perhaps even generate results that appease your stakeholders. But …more

Brand Building Requires Courage

After working on a number of branding exercises over the years, I’ve noticed the same issue surfaces time and time again. Intellectually, executives recognize the challenge of differentiating their companies and brands in today’s noisy world. Yet, these same executives gravitate toward approaches to branding that are similar (if not the same) to what everyone else …more

When Storytelling Morphs Into “Laying It On Thick”

One doesn’t typically think of the humble news release as a storytelling platform. Savvy communicators have proven otherwise with examples ranging from Gold’s Gym (Fit for a Phone) to our own recent work for Zediva. But is it possible to take the storytelling in a news release too far? Try to guess the product category in …more

YouTube Jumps on Storytelling Bandwagon

YouTube has become synonymous with viral videos. When I play the video association game, I think of the Old Spice man and the hilarious Coke happy machine. Now YouTube wants to be perceived as a digital campfire for storytelling. Toward this end, the platform is hosting a free webcast on April 21 that promises to teach how YouTube …more

Recruiting Frenzy Returns To Silicon Valley

I write a bi-weekly column on Silicon Valley for the Korean newspaper Electronic Times. Here’s my latest column (before translation) on the quest for engineering talent when demand far exceeds supply. “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys Don’t let ’em pick guitars and drive them old trucks Make ’em be doctors …more

UPS Ad Doesn’t Deliver

I’ve been impressed by UPS and how the company’s PR team embraces storytelling techniques. I highlighted how UPS landed a Journal article around training, not the type of topic that typically cracks a national daily. A second post on UPS analyzed BusinessWeek Bloomberg coverage titled “Squeezing More Out of Brown.” UPS gets it. Which is why I was so surprised …more

The Most Undervalued Skill in Corporate Storytelling

I met with Peter Lewis over a cup of joe yesterday morning to discuss a storytelling workshop that we’ll be tag-teaming on soon. We went through the exercise of comparing notes on the storytelling front. Peter, who now teaches at Stanford’s J school, offered a journalist’s perspective reflecting stints at The New York Times and Fortune. My input shaped from toiling in …more

Social Media Meets Corporate Storytelling: The Good, The Bad, The Unauthentic

That’s the title of the IABC lunch panel that takes place in Silicon Valley on April 21. I have the pleasure of joining social media guru Steve Farnsworth for what should be a lively discussion. Steve does believe in storytelling. And I absolutely embrace social media. Still, there’s plenty of provocative turf to navigate around these two areas. …more