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Category: Anecdotes

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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

This Is How Many Executives View Anecdotes

Particularly in Silicon Valley where most executives started their careers on the engineering side. Coming from a technical orientation, they tend to think of anecdotes as inconsequential and yes, a bit fluffy. Yet, the science suggests that PR should be sourcing anecdotal content as part of media outreach. We leaned on a couple interns to …more

Interviewing Clients Like a Journalist: Thoughts from Dan Tynan

By Matt Burrows, Senior Account Executive   At first glance, dentistry might seem like the last profession you should address to get thoughts on storytelling, with most conversations with your dentist consisting of them asking questions while your mouth is open to the world. So when Dan Tynan — journalist, communications writer and Thought Follower …more

Pirates, Data and Storytelling

By Elisa Zallio, Junior Account Executive, Hoffman Europe (London)   I’d like to tell you about Emilio Salgari. He is a barely known, Italian writer from the late 19th century; he wrote adventure stories for periodic magazines, usually about fallen noblemen turned pirates to take revenge on their enemies — and, obviously, they’d fall in …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

I Wrote 1,000 PR Blog Posts and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

Writing feeds my soul, so producing 1,000 blog posts on public relations, storytelling and everything in between hasn’t exactly been combat duty. Still, there’s something about a round number with three zeroes that causes one to pause, to consider what went into this corporate blogging journey. Even though the destination was unknown, my anxiety was …more

PR Undervalues the Anecdote, One of the Best Springboards into Storytelling

Journalists get anecdotes. PR not so much. A few years back, we analyzed three months’ worth of tech stories in The Economist breaking down the content type by category. It turned out that 17 percent of the articles were anecdotal. . We consistently find that the anecdotal content in business publications ranges from 15 to …more

Parents, Marriage and Lessons for Business (and Life)

Our younger son gets married on Saturday. At a time when everyone looks ahead, I decided to also look backward to the marriage of Marv and Ruth Hoffman. The photo above shows my parents on their wedding day flanked by their moms. Their story is a common one for their generation — their parents arriving …more