ishmaels corner

Category: Advanced Storytelling


Microsite Makes a Case for “Storytelling Techniques” in Business Communications

Since conducting our first storytelling workshop in 2011, the honing of the material has been a never-ending process. To this point, we’ve considered the methodology as our intellectual property. It was part of how we differentiated the Agency, an approach to developing content that recognized that given a choice between dull or interesting, human beings will gravitate …more

Lee Kuan Yew, His Communication Skills Also Defied Convention

  Since Lee Kuan Yew’s passing, every media outlet in the free and not-so-free world has chronicled his accomplishments. If you haven’t spent time in Southeast Asia, it’s hard to appreciate the “miracle” of transforming this speck of geography into a world-class economy. It’s not quite Moses parting the Red Sea, but it’s close. I …more

Dueling “Dear Santa” Letters Provide A/B Testing on Storytelling

Consider yourself in a time machine that has whisked you back to high school English. Remember your teacher hammering home the point that effective writing “shows” the reader as opposed to “tells” the reader. It’s the showing that underpins true storytelling. The same holds true in business communications. Nobody wants to read — or believe …more

McDonald’s Serves Up Failure and Fries in Business Storytelling

Every PR agency and internal PR function strives to communicate positive stories about the organizations it supports. When we capture storytelling assets for one of our clients, no one proactively comes forth to share the time that something went horribly wrong. Yet, failure is one of the best techniques to bring tension or even drama …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

Can You Measure Storytelling in Your Media Relations Effort?

I attended the Communicator’s Conference in Portland last week where keynote speaker Jim Olson shared Starbucks’ commitment to storytelling in its communications. When asked how Starbucks measures the impact of storytelling, he explained that it’s still early days. I’d like to answer the question, but before doing so it’s useful to dust off the axiom, …more

Genius Storytelling Techniques from the American Chemical Society

That’s right. The same folks who publish “the molecule of the week” and find humor in the periodic table have cracked the mainstream with storytelling techniques worthy of a big brand. Before jumping to the tactic, it’s useful to rewind the tape to Nov. 27, 2013. That’s when the Los Angeles County court sided with …more

How Did the City of Chattanooga Land a New York Times Feature?

If you’re like me, you picked up last Tuesday’s New York Times and thought WTH? (OK, maybe it wasn’t “what the heck,” but you get the drift.) How did feel-good storytelling on the City of Chattanooga end up above the fold in The New York Times? I’m sure officials from numerous cities who have invested …more