ishmaels corner

Category: Humanity

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The Wonders of the “Word Visual” and a Thanksgiving Story

I first touted the virtues of the “word visual” in 2014. For those not familiar with this technique, the idea is to use the words (or typography) to drive the action while minimizing the need for design expertise. The image above borrowing the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld falls in the “word visual” category. Most “word …more

“Oops” Alone No Longer Differentiates 404 Pages

Every interaction with the customer offers a brand-building opportunity. This is particularly true for B2B companies that tend to pay less attention to the squishy things in life. Simply using conversational language that sounds like it comes from an actual human being — “Going from Point A to Point B to Point C gets you …more

I’m Guessing You Have Never Seen a Birthday Card Quite Like This One

It’s that time of year, prompting me to dust off my favorite birthday card. My granddaughter Addy served as both copywriter and designer of the card. In the spirit of full disclosure, she crafted this card some time ago, and I have posted about it before. Still, if TBS can show “It’s A Wonderful Life” …more

Reaching Today’s 35 and Under Crowd

Every generation — boomers, Gen Xers, millennials, and beyond — brings its values and frames of mind to the world. For communicators and marketing pros with deep experience, say 20+ years, that experience isn’t necessarily an advantage when you’re targeting millennials. We don’t think like them. We don’t talk like them. Because we’re not them. …more

Communications Lessons from a Politician

I asked Silicon Valley veteran Dave Kellogg for his OK to republish this post. I met Dave some 10 years ago when he was CEO of MarkLogic. Here was a CEO who not only understood PR but seemed to enjoy it. Unfortunately, his internal communications team didn’t command the same understanding, and our client relationship …more

A PR Announcement That Defies “Elvis Has Left the Building”

Every company experiences a key employee leaving for the proverbial greener pasture. It happens. Boards have been known to kick CEOs to the curb. Think GE’s announcement last year that it was parting ways with John Flannery with the obligatory “we thank John for his significant contributions and long service to GE,” code for he …more

Tirades, Tariffs and a PR Intern in Beijing

Sitting in the U.S., it’s easy to get caught up in the China rhetoric emanating from the White House and the latest if-you-do-that-we’ll-do-this missives. President Trump would have us believe that the global economy is a zero sum game, that every dollar gained by China leads to a loss of a buck in the U.S. …more