Category: Advanced Storytelling


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

What the Golden Globes Can Teach Us about Storytelling

I must confess to feeling a gravitation pull to old-school POVs. While storytelling in business might be the new black, the fundamentals of communications still hold true. That’s why the following guest post from friend and colleague James Strohecker resonated with me. BTW, I now know how to get to Carnegie Hall. By James Strohecker …more

Levity is the Killer App for Business Storytelling

Notice I said “levity,” not “funny” which is a much higher bar. Still, it often takes guts as much as creativity to bring levity to a brand’s storytelling. And if you can tap into a recent happenstance, you’ve got the makings for a story to reach the masses. I’ve come to call this “improv marketing” …more

Fiction That Cultivates Your Business Storytelling Chops

Some of the best storytellers on the planet are novelists. Past posts have borrowed from novelists. This one comes at the genre from a different angle. I asked five communicators from varied worlds to share their favorite novel for advancing storytelling acuity from a business context. The end result is a mix of reading deserving …more

Option for Huawei in Fighting Latest #PRCrisis: Atomize the Narrative

Huawei’s PR quest to be perceived as “just another telecom equipment maker doing its part to connect the world” took another hit when ex-CIA chief Michael Hayden said Huawei spied for the Chinese government. In an interview with The Australian Financial Review (AFR) published last Friday, Hayden also mentioned that Huawei tried to recruit him …more

The Next Best Thing to “Failure” in Business Storytelling

Virtually every great story encompasses failure or at least a crisis. Apple flirted with bankruptcy. J.K. Rowling lived on welfare before Harry Potter came to the rescue. Everyone told Freddie Patek he was too short to play professional baseball (naturally a favorite). As Fortune Journalist Patricia Sellers noted in discussing storytelling in business, “If failure …more