Category: Anecdotes

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Airing Dirty Laundry Reveals Storytelling Wisdom

Is there a task more mundane than doing laundry? It is the ultimate in dullsville. Yet, a podcast by Malcolm Gladwell called “Laundry Done Right” shows that indeed . I first wrote about Gladwell in 2009 when he told a David vs. Goliath type story that used a 12-year-old girls basketball team as the frame. …more

A Random Act of Kindness at Trader Joe’s

This has nothing to do with communications. Then again, it has everything to do with communications. The demands on my time these days has made it tough to squeeze in time to write for my blog; hence, the dusting off of this Trade Joe’s post. Let me set the stage. My wife and I decided …more

Not Exactly 60 Minutes Grilling My Mom on the PR Biz

By my back-on-the-envelop math, I’ve conducted over 500 interviews. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. The cajoling and probing of a source to get to the good stuff offers a sense of discovery. With Mother’s Day around the corner, I get to dust off an interview that makes my top-five list. But …more

Let’s Hope TMZ Doesn’t Get Their Hands on This Mother’s Day Video

I’ve avoided clickbait for nearly nine years and 1,096 posts … until now.     The headline for this post definitely qualifies as clickbait. You’re not going to find a video on Kim Kardashian dissing her mom. With that said, watching my mom share her unfiltered insights on the business of public relations does offer …more

Watching Kindness in Action

This has nothing to do with communications. Then again, it has everything to do with communications. Let me set the stage. My wife and I invited our two sons, daughter-in-law and grandkids over for a BBQ last Saturday thinking spring had arrived (not quite). After shopping for burgers, buns, condiments, etc., we decided to make …more

A “Life is Better Than Fiction” Communications from Silicon Valley

I’ve lamented the lack of storytelling in job descriptions, with everyone seemingly depending on the same HR 101 handbook. I’ve also showcased killer job descriptions like this one from Medium. Now comes a job description on LinkedIn like none other (h/t to Burghardt Tenderich for the flag). The creator was determined to leave nothing to …more

Law Enforcement Agencies Bring Levity to Their Storytelling

I believe levity is the killer app in business storytelling. Levity lifts the narrative, especially in the B2B tech world where inserting an action verb is considered a win. For the B2B tech companies who say this is too hard, too risky, check out the use of levity by law enforcement agencies, starting with last …more

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