ishmaels corner

Category: Anecdotes


Anecdote Takes Center Stage in a National News Story

That’s exactly what happened last week when CNN covered President Obama’s intention to veto the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to Mexico. Check out the headline. “Meet the pen Obama used to veto the Keystone XL pipeline.” Obviously, the focus of the story lies on a Presidential decision. Yet,  the pen …more

The Connection Between Anecdotes and Storytelling in Business Communications

I am an unabashed fan of the anecdote. I’m also convinced that it’s 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. That explains why if you audited the content generated by PR …more

Nothing Says Storytelling Techniques Like An Anecdote

I am an unabashed fan of the anecdote. Not in the sense that when one shows up on the Ed Sullivan show I’m moved to shriek. There’s an intellectual argument for using anecdotes – namely journalists want them. Sam Whitmore – if you’re in the communications business and don’t subscribe to SWMS, you’re missing a …more

The Economist Showcases the Anecdote as an Art Form

I’m a big fan of The Economist. The writers have perfected storytelling for a business audience. Of course, the writers toil in relative obscurity with a no-byline policy that leaves readers to wonder “Who the hell wrote that piece?” So I can’t tell you who penned the masterpiece called “A Different Game,” addressing data storage …more

Borrowing from Crocodile Dundee, "Now That’s an Anecdote"

Like most business publications, the Journal has been covering the maneuvering related to the Supreme Court addressing the question on intellectual property: When can a business method be patented? As you would expect, stories have revolved around attorneys and CEOs informally pleading their cases that just so happen to align with their own interests. Not …more

Revisiting the All-important Anecdote

The latest issue of BusinessWeek ran a piece called “The Leaner Baby Boomer Economy” In short, the story looks at how major brands like Starwood Hotels and Mercedes are responding to baby boomers cutting back on their discretionary spending. Like all compelling storytelling, the writer David Welch makes good use of anecdotes. For example, he …more

The Engima of Business Journalism, The Economist

Cloaked with a veneer of secrecy that leaves readers to wonder “Who the hell wrote that article?” The Economist takes pride in baffling the garden-variety PR person. Its editorial decisions can at times seem quirky for the sake of being quirky. I mean, do we really need 499 words devoted to ornithology and a bio-acoustic monitor that can distinguish …more