Archive: March 2014


What the Hell Does the PR Guy Know About Journalism? Five Takes up for Debate

My own career as a reporter was short-lived, not even three months at the “El Independiente” in South Tucson. Still, I enjoy sharing an outsider’s perspective on the plight of journalism. Curating these posts on our journalistic brothers/sisters, I’ve captured five takes with a PR bent. The Wall Street Journal Tries BuzzFeed Storytelling When I …more

Business Storytelling Lessons from the Budweiser “Puppy Love” Ad

A good percent of the U.S. population has watched the Budweiser “puppy love” ad that ran during the Super Bowl. At last count, YouTube views were about to crack the 50,000,000 mark. I believe that qualifies as a viral video. What exactly in the video caused so many people to watch and share? Of course, …more

Why I Turned Off LinkedIn’s Skills & Endorsements Functionality

I conducted a storytelling workshop at UC Berkeley last month that had a fresh wrinkle. A chunk of time was devoted to applying the concepts of storytelling to one’s personal branding, specifically the resume and LinkedIn profile. Several questions zeroed in on the “Skills & Endorsements” real estate in LinkedIn. While I’m an advocate for …more

Blending PR and Digital to Explore Visual Storytelling

Our campaigns increasingly pay homage to search and online presence. Regardless of the organization, the target audience at some point conducts due diligence online. Which means bringing digital skills to the table in building a client’s online profile. I recently shared a case study from our China team in which WeChat anchored a campaign. And …more

LinkedIn to China Inc: “I’d Like to Add You to My Professional Network”

I’ve always thought the Thomas Friedman line should read, “The world is flat … except in China.” Many U.S. Internet and media companies have entered the China market with dreamy aspirations only to find Kafka-esque obstacles at every turn. Watching the latest social media company take the leap, LinkedIn, should make for good TV in …more

Do Publications Walk the Social Media Talk? Do They Truly Serve the Reader?

Every publication has embraced social media. For proof, look no further than the “cutting-edge” journalism of Tactical Knives which connects with readers through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest (knives on Pinterest is a story for another time). But here’s the question I posed to our crack research team: Do publications operate their social channels in …more

The Commoditization of News Releases Ends the Free Lunch for Journalists

As best as I can piece the data together, the three largest news release distribution services (PR Newswire, BusinessWire and Marketwire) sent out roughly 642,000 news releases in 2013. If you’re keeping score, that’s about 1,759 news releases per day. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. You can quote me on …more

Warren Buffett’s Storytelling Transforms Shareholders Letter into Branding Event

Who cares if Warren Buffett is still getting the hang of this Twitter thing? The man knows how to apply storytelling techniques to business communications (heard he’s a pretty good investor too). There’s no better example of Buffett’s storytelling acuity than his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that came out over the weekend. The …more