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Category: Anecdotes

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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

A Lesson from The Grandma

I recognize that I live in this bubble called Silicon Valley where the promise of a better juicer can attract $120 million in venture capital, fail and everyone thinks this is normal. $120,000,000. Is it just me or does that seem like a lot of money down the drain? Of course, there are many Silicon …more

Post-Thanksgiving Humor in the Form of a Word Visual

I suspect the recent Presidential election made for some spirited discussions around the Thanksgiving table this year. Even a slice of pie worthy of Twin Peaks — “This must be where pies go when they die” — can only go so far in bridging the political gap. Still, there’s something reaffirming in knowing that Thanksgiving …more

Connecting Anecdotes to Storytelling in Business Communications

I am a fan of the anecdote, one of the most underutilized storytelling techniques in business communications. Executives often perceive anecdotes as fluff and put the kibosh on such content before it sees the light of the day. Which explains why if you were to audit the content generated by PR (in-house + agency), you …more

Irish Fans Bring Contrarian Storytelling to the Euro Cup

Playing a quick game of word association with European soccer fans conjures words like hooligans, violence and racism. When my family lived in the UK, my youngest son and I took in a match between West Ham and Liverpool at storied Anfield.The section for the West Ham supporters was literally wired off with police on …more