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Applying the Seven Basic Plots of Storytelling to Business Comms

By Chris Owen, UK Director   After working on the book for over 34 years (we have people in this office who haven’t been alive this long), Christopher Booker published Seven Basic Plots in 2004. It’s a seminal piece of work; taking a psychological and analytical approach to literature, it identified seven core themes to which …more

Storytelling Wisdom from Bestselling Author

I interviewed author Ella Frances Sanders in 2015 after her book “Lost in Translation” had caused quite a sensation and landed on the NY Times bestselling list for four months. I remember thinking how improbable that a single blog post, “11 Untranslatable Words from Other Cultures” could morph into a bestseller. Thanks to over 2 …more

Author Reflects on The Harmony of Words and Visuals in Storytelling

Imagine one blog post causing such a ruckus that readers demanded a book. That’s essentially what happened to Ella Frances Sanders when she created the post “11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures” in 2013. Roughly 12 months later, her book “Lost in Translation” hit the book stores and was an instant hit. Amid considerable media …more

What Really Happened Before the NRA’s Press Conference on December 21

It seems every PR person in America has weighed in on the NRA’s press conference last month. No need to rehash this ground with another “What the NRA should have done is …” Instead, I’ve extrapolated from information in the public domain and pieced together how I think the dialogue went down between the NRA’s …more

Best Storytelling Posts From Ishmael’s Corner in 2012 (Part I)

It’s been a good year for storytelling. One can argue storytelling has become the “new black.” If that’s true and you buy into the premise that a rising tide lifts all vessels including the humble canoe, then that explains our readership increasing by more than 50 percent. Many thanks for stopping by. In the spirit …more

Visual Storytelling Can Bring Out a Company’s Humanity

The largest semiconductor in the world runs a story depicting tattoos with “Intel” as part of the deisgn. Caterpillar produces a video about the role of their tractors in uniting the country of Madagascar. Visual storytelling can be an effective means to show a company’s humanity to the outside world. It’s tough for B2B companies …more

Ten Unfiltered Takes on “Tech Journalism is Broken”

In a world where anyone can conjure a digital pulpit for storytelling, the credibility that comes from third-party media coverage still counts. Communicators can benefit from studying journalism with sites such as Nieman Labs and Poynter offering open windows. It also doesn’t hurt to take a periodic look behind the curtain. For example, the post …more

The Opposite of Shouting, “Buy Me!”

A recent post by Chris Brogan focused on a simple question, “How do I get people to care?” We are bombarded with information 24 X 7, often self-induced (hello, smartphone). Trying to cut through the noise often feels like a trek through a jungle with a dull pocket knife. Chris’s answer to the challenge – …more