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Category: Visual Storytelling

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Words as an Action Film: Ira Glass on Creativity

Who doesn’t like Ira Glass? The man single-handedly popularized the podcast when his NPR show “This American Life” proved that with the right stories, the medium could reach millions. The original premise for “This American Life” was to take an individual who isn’t famous or in the news and build a narrative that captivates listeners. …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

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

Reverse-engineering Amazon’s Brand-building Journey

We live in a world that correlates speed with business success. Often, it’s not about inventing the best solution. It’s about getting there first and then fending off competitors parallel to trying to get the product right. But building a brand is not a transaction or a campaign. It requires time. Those same fast-twitch muscles …more

A Search for the Best Hotel Door Hangers in the World

I wrote a couple weeks ago about how word choice can lift a narrative. Forget the classic story arc for a moment. Even one word or phrase can warm up the copy or jar the reader with a bolt of incongruence.     But nothing tests the ability to harmonize words in tight quarters like …more

Storytelling vs Corporate Speak (Infographic)

In this corner we have those who have embraced storytelling with the fervor of foodies waiting in line at Salt & Straw for a scoop of the Freckled Woodblock Chocolate. In the opposing corner, we have the suits who find phrases such as “We’re pleased to announce” and “a leading innovator in sequencing code for …more

Visual Storytelling Tips for Communicators Steeped in Words

Your title might be PR manager, keeper of the blog, content developer or the classic copywriter. It doesn’t matter. All of us need to get the visual storytelling religion. The increasing amount of information accessed on mobile means shortened attention spans. And people want an entertainment dimension to their information, even in the business sphere …more

Thanksgiving Levity

I have discussed the concept of a “word visual” in which the words handle the heavy lifting for an image that doesn’t require deep design expertise. For PR pros who typically major in mass communications, journalism or English, the “word visual’ establishes a path to visual storytelling that’s particularly useful for social channels. One of …more

10 Examples of Visual Storytelling that Boost the Narrative

Most of us who toil in business communications tilt toward words. We studied mass communications, journalism or English in college. When we went looking for jobs, our resumes touted writing expertise, not design. Yet, today’s world calls for equal emphasis on the visual side. I’ve always viewed my blog as a laboratory where I can …more