The Best Storytelling and ...


It’s that time of year again when I try to ration the Bud’s eggnog in miniscule allotments and curate the best of the posts published in 2017.

Subjective factors — fresh or contrarian point of view, word play, amusement quotient, etc. — not popularity (visits), define “the best.”

On a related topic, I’m pleased to report that I showed a modicum of restraint in turning to the White House for topic fodder, writing about President Trump only seven times over the course of the year.

Four of the posts involving President Trump cracked the Top 11 list, which publishes today and Wednesday.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee claims I have short-changed the President, and more of his posts should constitute the top list. Let’s not go there.



1. Reflections on the Agency’s 30th Anniversary


Lou Hoffman, Heather Hoffman, The Hoffman Agency 30-year anniversary.

By nature, communication professionals are not stop-and-smell-the-coffee types. Still, the Agency’s 30-year anniversary celebrated earlier this year prompted me to stop and take readers behind the curtain to understand how my wife, Heather, has shaped the organization.


2. The Secret Sauce in Silicon Valley Isn’t American

President Trump’s immigration policies threaten Silicon Valley and ultimately the U.S. economy because over one third of those in Silicon Valley were born overseas. As a public service, this post strives to help the White House connect the dots.

a) Immigrants are a key driver behind a large percent of the tech successes that come out of Silicon Valley → b) the tech sector essentially serves as the growth engine behind the U.S. economy → c) A healthy economy generates jobs.

A leads to B leads to C. Once again, I seem to be out of step with the President’s way of thinking.


3. Bloody Hell, Someone Sent Me an Actually Informative Press Release


woman on phone in vintage photo.

The value of the news release has eroded through the years to the point that most have the value of a discount voucher for a DVD rental. PR has done its part to accelerate the demise with writing that crams adjectives and adverbs into tight quarters.

Yet, Michael Butcher from TechCrunch — in one of those rarest of moments — praises a news release for being packaged exactly how journalists need it.


4. How the Golden State Warriors Can Voice Their Views without a Stop at the White House

Did President Trump yank the invitation for the Warriors to visit the White House or did the team tell the White House to go pound sand?

It doesn’t matter.

In the spirit of serving the public good, I outlined a straw man communications plan for the Warriors to share their takes on the state of the country on Feb. 27 before playing Wizards in D.C.


5. Microsite Makes a Case for Storytelling Techniques in Business Communications


periodic table of business storytelling tiles.

The communications industry has embraced “storytelling” with the fervor of a carnival barker selling a tonic for weight loss. Yet, when it comes to business communications, storytelling by its classic definition — a narrative with a start, an end and something going horribly awry in between — often doesn’t work.

This interactive microsite offers guidance for improving communications through storytelling techniques.



I’ll publish the rest of the list on Wednesday.

Stay tuned.



  • Meg Adler

    I have seen personal stories that made no sense in the context of the presentation. I could only guess that someone told them they had to tell a story.


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