ishmaels corner

Category: Advanced Storytelling

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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

Our Take on Storytelling in 2019

What does a shovel have to do with storytelling? Everything. Many of our clients come from the B2B tech world where hearts race from inventing a way to increase the spin-torque efficiency of a memory device. While these types of stories hold great importance to the people who use a given technology, they typically aren’t …more

Deconstructing a New York Times Article on Amazon for Storytelling Lessons

Journalists, particularly those at Tier-1 media properties, are the best non-fiction storytellers on the planet. They toil in a Darwinian world in which clicks correlate to economic health. If they don’t produce content that triggers clicks, they’re going to eventually hear words to the effect, “You’re not a fit here.” With this in mind, it’s …more

People Have Misunderstood the Meaning of Storytelling (PRWeek)

We’ve strived to be the cobbler’s kids who actually do have shoes. In practical terms, we’ve pitched stories on the Agency and our perspectives to journalists, some resulting in media coverage. As part of the blog’s 10-year anniversary, I’ve dusted off one of the better articles on our storytelling mentality. David Blecken at Campaign Asia …more

Ten Takes on the State of Storytelling in Business

  Today marks the day, the 10-year anniversary of Ishmael’s Corner. In the spirit of taking a step back, I reached out to a mix of individuals I respect for their perspectives on that elixir for communications we call storytelling. The backgrounds vary from journalists to storytelling gurus to authors and everything in between. As …more

Whoever Said, “If They Build It, They Will Come,” Never Started a Blog

Tomorrow marks the 10-year anniversary of Ishmael’s Corner. Nice round numbers suggest reflection, so here goes. Building a readership is hard work — not exactly an alert-the-media insight, but one that has stayed with me over this 10-year trek. The periodic sense of toiling alone begat the line: “If a post falls in the forest …more

The Person Behind “Storytelling for Leaders”

It seems like 90 percent of human beings aspire to: Lose weight Get rich Tell stories Of course, such aspirations bring the purveyors of snake oil. “Hey mister, step into my tent and see how storytelling can change your life.” Yet, there’s a small cadre of storytelling advocates who actually know what they’re talking about. …more