ishmaels corner

Archive: March 2019

MENU

I Still Believe Levity Is the Killer App for Business Storytelling

I wrote about Zappos using levity as the killer app in its communications a few years ago. Before going further, it’s worth noting that levity has a lower bar than humor. We’re not trying to channel Jon Stewart or Conan O’Brian. Levity delivers a smile, a grin (bigger smile) or, at its best, a low-decibel …more

The News Release Isn’t Dead Yet

The news release was born on Oct. 28, 1906. Fast forwarding to 2015, organizations distributed roughly 762,000 news releases on wire services. Our back-of-the-envelope math figures 30 hours went into each news release at $200 per hour. The punch line — Organizations spent around $4.5B on the creation of news release back in 2015, a …more

300,000 Books, Let Me In and Pogonophilia

The grab-bag post returns for the first time in 2019. As a refresher, I invented the grab bag as a forum to share three shards on business communications that otherwise couldn’t stand on their own. Here goes.   Who Will Get the Books? Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld died last month. According to Le Figaro, the …more

Putting a Face on a Company

Check out the headline in The Wall Street Journal last month. “Apple Teams with Jack Ma” The headline didn’t say “Apple Teams with Alibaba.” Why? And don’t say because the word “Alibaba” wouldn’t fit in the space for the headline. It turns out that both words take up seven characters. I think it’s because the …more

The Story Is Always There

This headline serves as our mantra for 2019. Every company, even those who fancy “math is fun” buttons, has something interesting to share with the outside world. But these stories rarely sit on a desk with a label that reads “good story with killer anecdote inside.” Instead, it’s up to us as communicators to poke …more

What the Hell Was Huawei Thinking?

You’ve heard the phrase, “read the room.” Huawei can’t read the room. In spite of an in-house communications team that includes talented pros from the West, they continue to make amateur mistakes. The latest comes in the form of an open letter to the U.S. media published last week in The Wall Street Journal. If …more

PR Undervalues the Anecdote, One of the Best Springboards into Storytelling

Journalists get anecdotes. PR not so much. A few years back, we analyzed three months’ worth of tech stories in The Economist breaking down the content type by category. It turned out that 17 percent of the articles were anecdotal. . We consistently find that the anecdotal content in business publications ranges from 15 to …more