ishmaels corner

Archive: August 2013

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Open Letter to First-time CEOs of Startups

Dear First-time CEO of a Startup, I know it’s intoxicating. Take a breath. Maybe you’re 26 with a killer idea that melts Facebook- and Yelp-like functionality into a travel app. Or you’re 40ish and finally – after shelling out a fortune for that MBA with the promise of a career catapult – getting the chance …more

Storytelling That Shows Life is Better Than Fiction

I’ve made 20 or so trips to China since my inaugural adventure in 1999. And make no mistake, every trip feels like an adventure. Beyond the obvious learning, I can count on China to deliver a happenstance or two (or three) that remind me, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we‘re not in Kansas anymore.” This one …more

The Making of an Illustration (From a PR Perspective)

We continue to experiment with all forms of visual storytelling. Anyone can point and click a camera. Thanks to the numerous make-me-better tools, amateurs can doctor a photo into something “watchable.” Not so with the illustration. Only legit expertise can create a professional-grade illustration, but the reward comes in a fresh communications asset. Any time …more

Five Journalists Offer Free Lessons in Business Storytelling

Public relations is more than news releases and pummeling journalists to write about clients. The PR profession has been chanting this mantra for years. It’s finally come true. The rise of digital communications has given way to a content gold rush. Replacing the picks and shovels, storytelling has moved to a core tool of today’s …more

Have You Heard of Native PR?

It’s the sister of native advertising. The difference between the two forms of communications comes down to cost. Unlike native advertising, the media placement for native PR is free. Shifting from theory to reality, check out how this plays out on what’s called the BuzzFeed Community: What a great platform for communicators to hone their …more

Revisiting the News Release: Friend, Foe or Link Builder

This not-so-little recent tweak to Google’s treatment of link schemes certainly caught the attention of the PR industry: “Creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.” Google goes on to call out “links with …more

Visual Storytelling Lessons from Businessweek

Since Businessweek retooled its “look and feel” under Richard Turley, visual storytelling has gained greater prominence. It’s revealing to revisit a comment Turley made to BusinessInsider a couple years ago: “One of the things I wanted to do was to have a magazine which you could graze.” Before going further, it’s worth stepping back to …more

Why the PR Profession Must Embrace Visual Storytelling

My personal soapbox is fast becoming visual storytelling. This can be a tough one for PR professionals where words have always ruled. Yet, visuals can serve as shortcuts to the emotional touch points of a story. Which explains why 500 million photos are shared on social platforms each day, a number expected to double next …more

Analyzing Beatles Lyrics Reveals Strong PR Bent

Deciphering the inner meaning of Beatles lyrics goes back to playing the White Album backward and the “Paul is dead” hoopla, a technique that obviously proved to be flawed. I believe a more hand-crafted approach to sifting through Beatles lyrics paves the way to storytelling gold. My crack researcher Grace Hoffman – who says nepotism …more