Archive: February 2014


The Next Time You’re Crafting Executive Quotes, Consider This

Regardless of your politics, no president has brought out the humanity of the Oval Office like President Obama. How much comes from President Obama himself as opposed to his advisers? The question misses the point. He gets it or he wouldn’t sign off. As exhibit A, take a look at the statement from President Obama …more

Decrypting Eight Code Phrases in the Client/PR Agency Relationship

The intelligence community devotes massive amounts of time in trying to decode information from the bad guys as well as advancing their own encryption technology. The communications business – and specifically the client/agency relationship – has its own code. With the help of the worst mathematician in the world – that would be me – …more

Attention K-Mart Bloggers: Great Storytelling Alone Won’t Build an Audience

No blogger, including me, wants to toil in obscurity. Those of us who work under the marketing umbrella adhere to this twist on the “Field of Dreams” adage, “If you build it, people won’t necessarily come.” It’s now time for an update with a fresh wrinkle: Specifically, many RELEVANT people still won’t come. When it …more

Emotional Truth Comes Through Derek Jeter’s Retirement Letter

What a surprise! Derek Jeter is not only a hall-of-fame shortstop who makes the time to help the elderly cross Fifth Avenue, the guy also knows how to write. When I say “knows how to write,” I don’t mean in the literary sense or with storytelling techniques. If my high school English teacher Mr. Harper, …more

Not the Most Intuitive Mashup: Public Relations + the Chinese New Year

The Year of the Horse officially kicked off on January 31 with the 15-day celebration coming to an end today (known as the Lantern Festival) Our Singapore team saw an opportunity to bring the Chinese New Year and the PR profession together as an infographic, part of our push to experiment with visual storytelling using …more

Social Media Headlines Taking Click Bait to New Heights

I wrote about this issue last year, “Aliens Converge on Sioux Fall, South Dakota in Quest of Killer Headline.” Given the ceaseless bombardment of information, anyone looking for an online audience increasingly thinks of headlines as a form of eye candy. I experience the gravitational pull myself. One quick example – The headline for a …more

How Did the City of Chattanooga Land a New York Times Feature?

If you’re like me, you picked up last Tuesday’s New York Times and thought WTH? (OK, maybe it wasn’t “what the heck,” but you get the drift.) How did feel-good storytelling on the City of Chattanooga end up above the fold in The New York Times? I’m sure officials from numerous cities who have invested …more

Old-school Mentality Continues to Handicap Newspapers

The Sunday Times broke the “Rowling admits Harry Potter should have ended up with Ron Weasley’s chick” story last weekend. Given the clout of the Harry Potter franchise – which continues to go ka-ching – the story constituted a bona fide scoop. “Congrats” from above surely rained down on the journalist Claudia Croft who interviewed …more