ishmaels corner

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Whoever Said, “If They Build It, They Will Come,” Never Started a Blog

Tomorrow marks the 10-year anniversary of Ishmael’s Corner. Nice round numbers suggest reflection, so here goes. Building a readership is hard work — not exactly an alert-the-media insight, but one that has stayed with me over this 10-year trek. The periodic sense of toiling alone begat the line: “If a post falls in the forest …more

More Advice for College Grads in Landing That Elusive First Job

I played “Dear Abby” earlier this month offering guidance to college grads on how to differentiate in their resumes and cover letters. It generated a fair amount of feedback, including a comment — actually comment does it a disservice; let’s call it a “treatise” — from my friend and colleague James Strohecker, a senior marketing …more

Storytelling has a Place in Resumes and Cover Letters

As colleges get ready to unleash their 2018 graduates, the economic principle of supply and demand comes into play. To put it bluntly, the supply of college grads far exceeds the number of open entry-level jobs. As someone who literally couldn’t give himself away for free — after graduation I wrote to over 10 advertising …more

Translating Ogilvy’s 10 Writing Tips for Today’s Digital Sphere

David Ogilvy penned his infamous advice on writing on Sept. 7, 1982 in a memo to his employees. His point of view still has relevance for anyone who touches business communications, not just the jingle jockeys and slogan makers. Still, they could use a refresh for 2018. Toward this end, I’ve captured  Ogilvy’s 10 tips …more

Top 10 Communications and Storytelling Posts of All Time

After eight years and 893 posts, I figure there’s enough data to highlight the most viewed posts of all time with a straight face. It’s fitting that half of the posts from the top 10 do not fall squarely under the storytelling umbrella. While storytelling in business communications serves as the basis of the blog, …more

Dear College Grad, About That Resume and Cover Letter …

It’s that time of the year. About 19.9 million college graduates have descended on civilization with shiny apples in hand. Unfortunately, the demand versus supply equation doesn’t work in their favor. Finding that elusive first job puts a premium on the resume and its associated cover letter. No university invited me to deliver a commencement …more

Who Moved My Story?

After conducting our storytelling workshop over the years, a certain theme has emerged. By the close of the workshop, participants buy into the concepts. They then jump back into their jobs with renewed determination to communicate with conversational language and a show-don’t-tell attitude only to run into that visible force called stakeholder approval. We continually …more