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Category: Advanced Storytelling

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Homework Behind Open-ended Questions Can Lead to Storytelling Gold

We know the story is always there. Yet, bringing the story to the surface often requires the right questions. And no one is better at probing and cajoling a source than Terry Gross, the maestro of the NPR podcast “Fresh Air.” She recently interviewed the actor Patricia Arquette. Having done her homework, Gross knows Arquette’s …more

Communications Lessons from a Politician

I asked Silicon Valley veteran Dave Kellogg for his OK to republish this post. I met Dave some 10 years ago when he was CEO of MarkLogic. Here was a CEO who not only understood PR but seemed to enjoy it. Unfortunately, his internal communications team didn’t command the same understanding, and our client relationship …more

Top PR and Storytelling Posts in H1, 2019 (Part 2)

Monday’s post captured five of the 10 top posts this year (so far). Here are the remaining posts.   6. Game of Thrones Depicts the Best of Persuasive Language The final season of Game of Thrones played out this year. Rather than focus on the Iron Throne, we turned our attention to persuasive language, specifically …more

You Don’t Need to Be Hemingway to Bring Storytelling to Business Communications

The concept of “storytelling” has been trending in the communications industry for years. Virtually every communications consultancy touts its storytelling expertise short of saying: “Hey mister, step into our tent and see how storytelling can change your life.” There’s just one not-so-little detail that no one talks about. When it comes to business communications, storytelling …more

How to Ask Tough Questions to Dig Out Storytelling Gold

Our 2019 mantra “The story is always there” points to the importance of the discovery process in business communications. Anyone can sit down with Apple’s Tim Cook after Elizabeth Warren has made her case for greater regulation of the tech industry and come away with a story that triggers clicks.     It takes much …more

Storytelling Lands Commodity Semiconductor on TV

You periodically hear that someone is “good TV.” Bill Hader is good TV (looking forward to binging “Barry” on my next overseas flight). Tina Fey is good TV. Sometimes an event or a product like an Apple iPhone launch is mentioned as good TV. Semiconductors are NOT good TV. The technical nature of a semiconductor …more

Throne Madness Reveals the Best Backstory from Game of Thrones

Reporting on the storylines in a given Game of Thrones episode doesn’t require much creativity. Littlefinger overplays his hand and gets his due Daenerys Targaryen impersonates Abe Lincoln and frees the slaves The White Walkers were this close to taking over when the Night King makes a tactical error. Instead, the real storytelling comes through …more

Packaging a Seemingly Dull Story to Crack Bloomberg Businessweek

The public relations function typically constructs media pitches based on the story that the company wants to tell. These stories tend to be pristine narratives — the sun is shining; birds are chirping — that dull the senses. That largely explains why 95%+ of pitches to the business media fail. Instead, we should be thinking …more