Category: Writing

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Similar to PR, Journalism Comes in Different Grades

The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the number of people working in PR at 218,910 (as of May 2015). Some of these folks are extraordinary. Others communicate with the finesse of a carnival barker. Most fall somewhere in between. For the sake of discussion, let’s say that 3 percent of the PR population falls into …more

Avoiding the Unkindly Cut in Business Writing

I don’t smoke. I rarely drink more than two Old Fashioneds at a sitting. If I have a weakness, it’s called WG Yogurt. Their root beer yogurt deserves a Michelin star — “creamy with hints of cherry tree bark.” What does this have to do with business writing? During my last stop at WG Yogurt, …more

Proving That Life is Stranger Than Fiction in the Communications Sphere

  You can’t make this stuff up. Raking through my storytelling and PR posts, I’ve curated a list of seven “life is stranger than fiction” moments. 1. Media Squeeze — and Watermelon Explosion — Described by the NY Times Presents an Opportunity for PR BuzzFeed proved what everyone has always believed in theory. If you stretch …more

Post-Thanksgiving Humor in the Form of a Word Visual

I suspect the recent Presidential election made for some spirited discussions around the Thanksgiving table this year. Even a slice of pie worthy of Twin Peaks — “This must be where pies go when they die” — can only go so far in bridging the political gap. Still, there’s something reaffirming in knowing that Thanksgiving …more

PR Guy Morphs into Travel Writer

I thought the newspaper was asking me questions about my favorite travel destination. It turned out that the newspaper assumed San Francisco was my favorite travel destination — hey, why else would I live 53 miles south of San Francisco? — so my answers around Aix en Provence didn’t fit. As public service for those …more

Five Lessons in Counterpunching with Words from Warren Buffett

Staying true to form during the last presidential debate, Donald Trump inferred that all smart business people find loopholes to avoid paying federal taxes, including Warren Buffett. I tried to come up with a plausible explanation for why Trump thought his comment on Buffett would go unchallenged. Then, the obvious hit me. He doesn’t care. It’s his words …more

Now This Takes “Less Is More” to a New Level in News Release Writing

I’ve railed about the amount of money squandered by the PR industry in the name of the news release. Thanks to the internet commoditizing news announcements, I’m guessing that the media ignores a good 95 percent of the news releases flung over the fence. And out of those 5 percent that actually get a look, …more

Applying Storytelling Techniques to the Humble Job Description

Persuasive language has a say in the success or failure of virtually every job (ventriloquists get a pass). It doesn’t matter whether you manage a juice bar or lead a Fortune 500 company, the ability to win others over to your point of view matters. The word “others” covers a lot of ground, but let’s …more