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Questioning The New York Times’ Grip on Silicon Valley History

The New York Times ran a story last month on employee activism at Google and its firing of four employees involved in the movement. No question, the topic warrants coverage. The two NYT journalists, Kate Conger and Daisuke Wakabayashi, dig into the topic with a touch of foreshadowing: “The dismissals are expected to exacerbate rocky …more

Advocating for the PR Profession at Wenzhou-Kean University in China

By Frank Zhang, DGM Hoffman China   Sitting on the train from Shanghai to Wenzhou, I had time to contemplate a simple question: What were students from Wenzhou-Kean University, a Chinese-American jointly established higher education institution, expecting to hear from an international communications consultancy? I arrived at the venue 30 minutes early. It turns out …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

The Wonders of the “Word Visual” and a Thanksgiving Story

I first touted the virtues of the “word visual” in 2014. For those not familiar with this technique, the idea is to use the words (or typography) to drive the action while minimizing the need for design expertise. The image above borrowing the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld falls in the “word visual” category. Most “word …more

Should Publications Try to Fool the Reader?

The obvious answer is no, but perhaps a more nuanced view should rule the day. Maybe it’s OK — dare I say helpful — to fool the reader, if by doing so, the publication serves up information that the reader cares about. I raise the issue after stumbling across sponsored content on UC Davis’ approach …more

“Oops” Alone No Longer Differentiates 404 Pages

Every interaction with the customer offers a brand-building opportunity. This is particularly true for B2B companies that tend to pay less attention to the squishy things in life. Simply using conversational language that sounds like it comes from an actual human being — “Going from Point A to Point B to Point C gets you …more

I’m Guessing You Have Never Seen a Birthday Card Quite Like This One

It’s that time of year, prompting me to dust off my favorite birthday card. My granddaughter Addy served as both copywriter and designer of the card. In the spirit of full disclosure, she crafted this card some time ago, and I have posted about it before. Still, if TBS can show “It’s A Wonderful Life” …more

WeChat Campaign in China Offers Glimpse into the Future of Communications

  This headline and the post below appeared five years ago. Well, the future has officially arrived. Our China team is now building self-contained campaigns around WeChat every week, some of which are designed for lead generation. Think of these campaigns as social CRM or if you insist SCRM. The New York Times created a …more