Archive: July 2014


Yes, You Can Write Business Letters from the Heart

An online media property in Hong Kong called House News called it quits last weekend. If you go to, you’ll be greeted with a letter in Chinese from one of the publication’s founders, Tony Tsoi on the “why.” Before turning attention to the writing in the letter, I must say that it’s disturbing to …more

The Best Storytelling Techniques Posts from the First Half of 2014 (Part II)

Wednesday’s post featured half of the list capturing my top storytelling techniques posts from the first half of 2014, including the American Chemistry Association breaking down the composition of Sriracha. Today brings the second half. PR’s Digital Opportunity Will Come at the Expense of SEO Consultancies We’ve been quietly executing campaigns that blend the principles …more

The Best Storytelling Posts from the First Half of 2014 (Part I)

I’m tardy in capturing the best business storytelling posts during the first half of 2014. As always, figuring out the “best” combines popularity (number of views) and what rated high on my personal amusement scale. Here goes: Can You Measure Storytelling in Your Media Relations Effort? It turns out you can (and we do). Simply …more

Bad News Should Not Come Packaged as a 1,111-word Letter to Employees

Unfortunately, that’s how Stephen Elop, EVP over Microsoft’s Devices & Services business unit, communicated  the company’s decision to reduce its workforce by 12,500 people (or 18,000, depending on who we believe). I don’t expect Mr. Elop to be a skilled communicator, much less command writing expertise. And I appreciate that a letter such as this one …more

Strong Storytelling in McDonald’s Supplier Videos … But Do They Work?

More to the point, do they fortify the McDonald’s brand? I can understand McDonald’s quest to associate with suppliers who take a certain “hand-crafted” approach to their products. The message serves as a counterbalance to the perception that McDonald’s is all about volume production. Stepping back for a moment, the execution of this campaign is …more

The Walmart/New York Times Spat Reveals a Bigger PR Trend

There’s no question that the rise of owned media has both emboldened companies and shaped more of a peer-to-peer relationship with journalists. In the old days, if a company took issue with a critical article, it might write a letter to editor, contact the publication’s ombudsman or cajole a correction out of the journalist’s boss. …more

Does Failure Make for Compelling Storytelling?

A Look at the Publication Headlines from Countries Bounced from the Start of the World Cup Knock-out Round We already know the answer to the headline question. Virtually every great novel and movie depend on failure to bring tension to the story. And are there few things more painful than seeing your country fight its …more