The Best Storytelling Posts ...


I’m with the seagull.

As my Mom will attest, I wasn’t big on rules.

Since starting the blog back in 2008, I’ve strived to offer perspectives that you won’t find in the Communications 101 handbook.

This is the time of year when I reflect, calling  out what I consider to be the 10 best posts of the year (so far).

 1. The FTC’s Quixotic Fight Against Native Advertising

It’s madness to think that the Federal Trade Commission has the chops, resources and will to make sense of sponsored content. The agency’s announcement of an “enforcement policy” on native advertising only supported this viewpoint. The FTC wants native advertising to fit in a tidy box; but the reality is that it’s messy. This post examines the messiness — including the issue of paid content surfacing in the Google news feed.

2. This Type of Sponsored Content Freaks Out the FTC

The FTC’s enforcement policy on native advertising can’t keep up. This post shows how sponsored content in Mashable skirts the rule and mimics editorial content.  Sponsored-Editorial Comparison 01-22-16Publications seem to have adopted the theory that the more they can fool the reader, the more clicks come to the content.

3. Did Apple’s Customer Letter Work in Defending Civil Liberties?

When the government asked Apple to unlock a phone used by a terrorist in the San Bernardino shooting, Apple went on the offensive drawing a line in the sand with a Customer Letter. This post breaks down the letter from a communications perspective.

4. Applying Supply-and-demand Economic Theory to Media Relations

This post had been percolating in my mind for some time. Speaking at the Holmes Report Innovation Conference provided the needed nudge. This post explains that PR should developing content that aligns with what journalists value, not what internal stakeholders value. While the relationship between PR and journalists is never going to be a perfect fit, such an approach stands to diffuse much of the friction in the and demand equation

5. Showmanship Trumps Expertise in a PR Agency Review That’s Broken

The typical process that guides a company in evaluating PR agencies and ultimately choosing a winner is broken. It was broken when I participated in my first new-biz meeting — wicker furniture, of all things; we did not win — in 1983. It’s still broken today. Here’s my take on actions that would help companies better evaluate prospective PR agencies.

I’ll publish the rest of the list next Tuesday.

I hope you’ll check it out.


  • Frank Strong

    I love the supply and demand graphic, Lou. I recall reading that when you published it and took some time again to study it. Genius!

    • Lou Hoffman

      Thanks Frank. Given the agenda of each profession, there’s never going to be perfect alignment between “PR supply” and “Journalist demand.” Still, sharing this theory to rationalize our approach to media relations seems to resonate with clients (and puts our account folks in a better position to build relationships with journalists).


Leave a Reply