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Storytelling Through a Business Prism

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A Search for the Best Hotel Door Hangers in the World

I wrote a couple weeks ago about how word choice can lift a narrative. Forget the classic story arc for a moment. Even one word or phrase can warm up the copy or jar the reader with a bolt of incongruence.     But nothing tests the ability to harmonize words in tight quarters like …more

The Downside of Experience in Leadership

We tend to correlate experience with stronger leadership. The common Steve Jobs narrative swings from impetuous youth to lessons learned. It stands to reason that people who have been tested when things didn’t go according to plan — “What do you mean an impromptu YouTube video just went live with our head our marketing giving …more

Shaking Up the Status Quo in Asia Leads to Industry Recognition.

The Holmes Report recently shorted-listed our Asia Pacific team as Tech Agency of the Year in the region. As an agency that competes against companies 50+ times larger, this type of industry recognition is important. It reminds the outside world that bigger isn’t better (said the guy who tips 5 foot 4 on a good …more

Revisiting Trump’s Conversational Language

Roughly two years ago, I wrote a post about then-candidate Trump and how he used conversational language as a differentiator. Given his communications since moving into the White House, I decided to dust off the point of view that riffs on a Wall Street Journal column. Unfortunately, skipping to the end, bombastic did win the …more

Analysis of Beatles Lyrics — No AI Deployed — Turns Up Connection to PR

The San Francisco Giants paid tribute to the Beatles a few weeks ago. It reminded me that deciphering the inner meaning of Beatles lyrics was a public sport during the band’s heyday. Those over 50 will remember playing the White Album backward and supposedly hearing “Paul is dead.” Rather than play all the albums backward, …more

How Not to Frame Failure in Storytelling

Nothing says storytelling like the “F” word. Point to a movie or book or TV show that captivates, and I’ll show you failure. I’m currently watching “Better Call Saul.” The man goes from untangling drug lords from their legal difficulties to shaping dough at Cinnabon, the classic story arc with the requisite failure.   . …more

10 Tips on Storytelling Techniques from Novelists

Business communicators can learn from novelists and their storytelling techniques. I’ve always been partial to the Kurt Vonnegut advice: “Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them – in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” It’s never easy for a …more

The M&A Letter That You Won’t Be Reading Anytime Soon

Between the internet, social media and human beings’ proclivity for talking, transparency is the rage. Companies figure that even sensitive information — especially sensitive information — eventually finds its way to the outside world, so they’re better off sharing their perspective before the grapevine kicks into gear. Yet, there’s zero transparency in the letters that …more