Public relations is more than news releases and pummeling journalists to write about clients.
The PR profession has been chanting this mantra for years.
It’s finally come true.
The rise of digital communications has given way to a content gold rush. Replacing the picks and shovels, storytelling has moved to a core tool of today’s communications trade.
To accelerate the learning curve, look to journalists who have spent years honing their craft with readers, not heads of marketing, in mind.
Through sheer osmosis you can advance your PR storytelling expertise by reading their stuff. While journalists don’t want to hear it, the difference between what they do and the aspirations of PR has become a fine line.
Here are five journalists who double as gifted storytellers. Not all come from the business world, but their command of language and sequence within a non-fiction frame still has relevance to communicators:
|Thanks go to Sam Whitmore – if you’re in communications and don’t subscribe to SWMS, put it in the budget for 2014 – for pointing to Anders who largely writes about the tech industry. His style shows how an anecdote can take the reader behind the curtain, like the kickoff to his recent piece on HP’s Meg Whitman:
The New York Times
|I love Wednesdays. That’s when The New York Times publishes its dining section, which dishes some of the best storytelling in daily journalism. The best of the best is Peter Wells as symbolized by his shredding of Guy Fieri’s new restaurant:
|Madrigal heads the property’s technology coverage after a successful stint at WIRED. Sure, he can write, but what makes his work stand out is his knack of digging out that fresh angle. As Exhibit A: when P&G sold Pringles, Madrigal wrote the piece, “The Pringle as Technology”:
|The publication’s New York bureau chief was brought to my attention by Erica Benton, social media strategist for Trend Micro. Bishop’s gifts lie in his dot-connecting, making sense of complex topics like the labor market (read his opening to a special report on labor back in 2011):
Side Note: Did I miss the memo that The Economist no longer treats bylines like a pint of water in the Sahara Desert.
The New York Times
|What can I say? The New York Times earns two places. Longman has a way with language as reflected in this beautiful paragraph about the beautiful game and Spanish soccer player Andrés Iniesta:
Obviously, this is hardly a comprehensive list.
I welcome hearing your must-read journalists or even one specific story worthy of reverse-engineering.
I see Matthew Bishop can’t resist the compulsion to recycle the bogus boilerplate canard of the “lump of labour fallacy.” Bishop plagiarized my research on the origins of the fallacy claim (D. F. Schloss) without including the conclusion of the research that the claim was utterly without merit.
In response, several years ago, I did an Economist parody by compiling dozens of boilerplate renditions of the phony fallacy claim that had appeared in the magazine over the preceding dozen or so years.
Sandwichman,Economics is not my strong suit. I’ll take your word for it.
I like Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Most of his articles are about Pittsburgh sports, but told with a hint of sarcasm and local flavor. His Annual Trite Trophy for cliches is always good.
Thanks for the pointer. I will check out Mr. Collier.
Both of my parents are from Pittsburgh so I grew up following the Steelers and the Pirates (no professional sports at the time in Tucson).