Category: Storytelling Theory


“Storytelling Techniques” Aren’t Quite the Same Thing As “Storytelling”

Every once in a while I’ll get an email or comment from someone calling me out for passing myself off as a storyteller. They’re right. I’m not a storyteller. My passion lies as a student of storytelling and applying the techniques that underpin storytelling in business communications. There’s a huge difference between the two. For …more

The Concept of the Story Page (complementing the home page)

Traffic to news sites increasingly comes in through the side doors, that is, from search and social means. Adrienne LaFrance recently wrote on this very topic for Nieman Lab: As with newspapers – which haven’t so much disappeared as been pushed off center stage – few are saying that homepages will disappear completely. But as …more

Sports Illustrated Roots for Stories, Not the Team

The Thanksgiving break offered relaxation, pumpkin pie and plenty of football (sorry Niner fans). My personal indulgence involved reading Sports Illustrated cover to cover. The latest issue showcases long-form journalism at its best, examining the broad issue of sports in America with the piece “In My Tribe.” While I’ve pointed out that business communicators can take away lessons from the …more

The New York Times: All The News That’s Fit To Entertain

I was catching up on Charlie Rose segments and came across a recent interview with Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times. The interview offered yet another proof point on the importance of storytelling in cracking the mainstream media. Check out this exchange. Charlie: How does Jill Abramson see the mission of The New York Times? Jill: I see the …more

Revisiting How Organizations Tell Their Stories

Most organizations waste the “About Us” section on their web sites. This is the property’s big moment to woo you. If there was ever a place on a web site to apply storytelling techniques, it’s here. Yet, the section typically regurgitates the company party line. I’m going to periodically take a look at an organization’s “About Us” section. Today’s “lucky” …more

Infographic: Storytelling Vs. Corporate Speak

Visual storytelling demands a place in any organization’s business communications. Photos, graphics, charticles – apparently, when it comes to fish, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas – etc. all provide storytelling fodder. Which brings me to the infographic. You could make an argument that the infographic is the new black. Beyond the visual appeal, …more

Have You Ever Read A Legal Brief That Not Only Told A Story But One With A Sense Of Humor?

I haven’t. Until now. Welcome to U.S. District Court of California with the Honorable John F. Walter presiding over the spat between the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Zediva, which rents DVDs online. One quick housekeeping note – While we support Zediva on the PR front, we had no involvment with the brief. I’m guessing I’ve read through 100 or so …more

Engineers Like a Good Story Too

We’ve discussed this topic before. While professionals coming from a technical orientation gravitate toward the tangible, there’s also a place for storytelling in reaching this audience. That’s why companies like Intel devote considerable resources to putting a “face” on the company. That’s also why the editor-in-chief of EE Times, Junko Yoshida, applies storytelling techniques in her own writing. For exhibit A, …more