Archive: February 2012


Does Storytelling Sell The Product?

  The latest issue of BusinessWeek offers the feature, “The Adventures of Superfood Man.” The lead takes from one of those life-is-better-than-fiction moments: On a good morning in Paradise Cove, Malibu, the water is so clear you can see halibut lurking in the kelp. Little Dume Point rises from its cliffs to the north, and …more

Donut Drama, Brand Disconnect And Interrogating A Virtual Assistant

Here’s my second “Grab Bag,” pulling together a few vignettes that caught my attention. Donut Drama I’m a huge fan of The New York Times Dining section that appears every Wednesday. How much drama can be found among a bunch of glazed donuts? Actually, quite a bit if you’re Pete Wells observing the action at …more

Media Training Lessons From None Other Than Jeremy Lin

You want storytelling? How about that Knicks/Mavs game last Sunday? After overcoming racism, Ivy League basketball, not being drafted by an NBA team, getting cut by two teams, relegation to the Reno Bighorns, and pestilence in third-world countries, Jeremy Lin is a legit star. As you would expect, his story has been chronicled down to …more

Q&A With Marketer Behind Parody TV Ad Promoting John Grisham’s Latest Novel

I highlighted a clever video by Doubleday last week, part of the marketing campaign behind John Grisham’s latest novel, “The Litigators.” It shows the storytelling possibilities that can come from combining owned media and social media. John Pitts, VP, Marketing Director at Doubleday and the person behind the Finley & Figg TV ad, was good …more

Novelist Takes Parody A Step Further With Fake Ad

During my investigation of novelists and their personal biographies, I stumbled across a clever use of owned media by Team Grisham. Every publisher sends out copies of a new novel to various media in hopes of garnering positive reviews. The marketing team behind John Grisham’s latest novel, “The Litigators,” went one step further. They created …more

How Do Novelists Treat The Lead Sentence In Their Own Bios?

We’ve been trained to craft a lead sentence that grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck. It seems logical that the sooner you interest the reader, the better, especially in business communications where you don’t have the luxury of developing a narrative over 200 pages. To test this theory, I looked at the …more

What About the Storytelling in the Facebook S-1?

  The media and Wall Street have dissected every consonant and statistic in the Facebook S-1. Plug the phrase “Facebook S-1” into Google covering the past week and more than 150,000 hits appear. But as far as I can tell – didn’t look at all 150,000+ mentions – no one has examined the storytelling techniques in the …more

Storytelling In Leadership, Brand Evolution And Language

The “what’s ahead for the blog in 2012” post mentioned plans to create the “Grab Bag,” a collection of tidbits that couldn’t rightfully stand alone. Here’s the first one – Leadership and Storytelling Prior to the 49er/Giants NFC championship game, Monte Poole from the Bay Area News Group wrote a column about the leadership of …more

Insights From Business Wire’s Top 20 News Releases Of 2011

Business Wire captured its top 20 news releases of 2011 in terms of views. On average, each news release garnered 63K views. More proof that every company has the potential, doesn’t happen automatically, to be a media company. When it comes to applying storytelling techniques to communications and driving popularity, what can we learn from the top …more