Archive: September 2013


How to Announce Bad News

Bad news more than any other PR activity shapes the negative perception of the profession. That’s when spin happens. Worse, everyone knows it. As exhibit A, look at the news release from the Dow Jones when it decided to sever the relationship with the AllThingsD founders: “For years, Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal has enjoyed …more

My Go-to Leave-behind Package for Storytelling Workshops

I love sharing the storytelling gospel through our workshops. It’s both fun and satisfying to see the dots connect in how storytelling techniques can be applied to any type of communications coming from an organization. When I say “any,” I mean communications ranging from job descriptions to Twitter to PR to the reply triggered from …more

Why the AllThingsD Brand Will Likely Live On

Every human being in the free world – and perhaps a few in the not-so-free world – know that Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher will leave AllThingsD at the end of the year to start a new media property. The news release from Dow Jones merely served as a springboard into the story behind the …more

Who Says the Traditional Storytelling Arc Can’t Work in Business?

I’ve discussed in previous posts the challenge of bringing the traditional storytelling arc into business communications. Companies don’t have two hours to set the stage, tease out the plot with the requisite twists and turns before the trumpets sound with the happy ending. Often, we’re lucky to get 90 seconds, and even that depends on …more

Brand Building Through Random Acts of Kindness

Everyone likes free stuff. Everyone enjoys an unexpected act of kindness. Put the two together, and you’ve got a killer branding-building exercise. Before I talk about Pretzel Crisps – which I’ve enjoyed for some time as an alternative to the typical chips marinated in saturated or trans fats – some background … My second oldest …more

Cultivating Creativity in PR

The typical process for evaluating PR agencies puts a premium on creativity. In many cases, the “big idea” ends up tilting the decision toward the eventual winner. What constitutes a “big idea?” It meets one or more of the following criteria Deviates from the status quo Differentiates Aligns with brand-building effort Client hadn’t thought of …more

Revisiting Native PR

I discussed the concept of native PR last month. Unlike native advertising, there’s no charge for media placement in native PR. If there were ever a forum for communicators to experiment with storytelling, this is the place (no cost = low risk). I think it’s fair to say that the BuzzFeed Community has emerged as …more

Clues Reveal How Mr. Bezos Will “Guide” The Washington Post

Jeff Bezos trekked to D.C. on Wednesday to meet with The Washington Post talent. I wonder how the boss felt about The Washington Post headline, “Bezos Courts Washington Post Editors and Journalists.” I suspect he viewed the sessions as preconditioning. Naturally, he spoke about differentiating the product and thinking big: He urged the paper’s journalists …more