Introducing Ishmael’s Greatest Storytelling ...


Ishmaels Greatest Hits

If bands can do it, why not a blog?

Only, I’ve defined a “greatest hit” as having “hit” the publish button in 2011 or later.

With the housekeeping out of the way for these business storytelling oldies, here are seven that fit the description:

My Aha Moment in Storytelling

Being raised in the command-and-control era of communications, I was taught to pummel the company spokesperson into submission to stay on message. This little episode was the start of seeing the storytelling light.

Check Out This Pie Chart

I had wanted to use an actual pie in creating a pie chart forever, but it couldn’t be gratuitous. So I waited and waited, pining to land Marie Callender’s as a client. Then, I got a call from Compass USA (food services industry) to speak on storytelling at their communicators’ conference. Close enough.

Pie chart - news release distribution - updated 1

Let Me Say What Every PR Person Thinks: The Message Has No Clothes

I have never heard a customer utter the words, “That’s a great message.” Yet, communicators continue to exhaust an extraordinary amount of time in crafting pristine messages. If the profession could siphon off 50 percent of this time to develop storytelling fodder, I’m convinced all would be right in the world.

The David Against Goliath Story Never Goes Out of Style

People love the underdog. But what if the underdog isn’t really the underdog by the conventional definition? That’s the premise of this wonderful narrative by Malcolm Gladwell on a 12-year-old girls’ basketball team, which I reverse-engineer. The phrase, “socially horrifying” makes an appearance.

There’s Enough Room in this Town for Both Storytelling and Keywords

My blog has evolved to examine the intersection of storytelling and the digital mechanics to gain online presence. I share a mini case study from my own experiences that illustrates that the basics of SEO and the quest for compelling narratives can co-exist.

McKinsey Correlates Storytelling to Leaders Who Inspire

Many executives perceive storytelling as a squishy concept left to those wacky folks in creative services. That’s why it’s particularly powerful that McKinsey puts forth the belief: “The purpose of leadership isn’t to increase shareholder value or the productivity of work teams, though effective leadership does these things … The process of leadership is to turn your values into a compelling cause for others.” Enter storytelling, stage left.

The Story Is Always There

I believe every organization has storytelling gold. In some situations, you just need to dig longer. As exhibit A, we took a lowly EEPROM (type of semiconductor) and landed coverage across a range of broadcast outlets. It turned out the story was there.

I plan to revisit the Greatest Hits on a quarterly basis. According to my math, another ten or so posts get added to the pool every month.

If you come across an older post that you think is worthy of a call out, let me know.

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