Archive: August 2015


Five Storytelling Techniques to Give Business Communications Liftoff

Storytelling is the new “black” when it comes to business communications. To understand the plight of storytelling, consider the chart put together by our crack research group using Factiva to search on the number of articles containing the word “storytelling” in general and business publications. .. The data doesn’t exactly quantify the communications profession embracing …more

The Answer to Chaos in the PR Industry

I often characterize this period of time as the PR industry’s version of the industrial revolution minus the child labor issue. Our profession is literally being reinvented right before our eyes. More than any one functional skill, the ability to keep learning is the key to excelling in a communications career regardless of title. In …more

One Not-so-little Detail Missing from the Debate on Amazon’s Culture

The hoopla triggered by The New York Times on the Amazon culture has not subsided. Cruel Bruising Dickensesque (as a literary reference, my personal favorite) And these were some of the more measured descriptions of the Amazon culture that have come to light and created a PR crisis. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was quick to …more

Hillary Clinton, a Cigar and the Power of Storytelling

By Raf Stevens Storytelling is a powerful weapon. In my book, “Leadership, Storytelling and the Power of Connection,” I offer guidelines for telling a good story that creates an emotional connection with employees, customers or other stakeholders. Executives who deploy storytelling efficiently are better able to convince their target audiences and achieve their business objectives. …more

What’s All the Fuss About Semantic Search?

Google wants the best content to win. The more Google serves up content for searches that you find useful, the more likely you keep returning to the search engine. The company’s business model depends on this concept with the high volume of traffic to organic search essentially feeding paid search, the ads that appear above …more

What Happens to Journalism When It’s All About the “Bass”

A “turn-the-crank” mentality to generate a relentless stream of articles shapes journalism at many media properties. Of course quality suffers. While you can find a slew of articles in which journalists lament the issue in theoretical terms, here’s an example from a major publication that makes it all too real. Check out “How Chick-fil-A’s Restaurants …more

Sifting Through Journalists’ Gripes and Grumbles for PR Lessons

Since I embarked on my PR adventure in 1983, everything has changed. Except one dynamic. Journalists griped about PR folks back in 1983, and they’re still griping today. To be objective, the bad behavior of a select few cultivates “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (yes, I did take away a few more morsels …more

Brand Extensions, Shortcuts by Journalists and Rejection as a PR Strategy

It’s been a couple months since my last Grab Bag post. With over 10 items in the queue, I made some tough choices on the three vignettes that made the cut. Here goes. Extending a Brand Too many companies extend their brands in ways that trade incremental revenue for flinging an incongruent message to their customers. …more

Why Do PR Pros Choose Not to Speak Out?

For a profession that advocates the power of taking a stand, there are precious few PR executives who take their own  advice. Several factors conspire to keep PR executives on a vanilla message. At the risk of generalizing, I think it’s fair to say that most PR people enjoy working in the background. Like a …more