Return of Ishmael’s Greatest ...


Ishmaels Greatest storytelling hits

Taking a page from the music industry, I introduced our “greatest storytelling hits” in 2013 pulling from posts published before 2011.

Now I’m going back to the well, showcasing some of my favorite posts published between 2011 and 2013. I hope you’ll find that they still have relevance and some spunk.

1. An Open Letter to the PR Community to Help Restore the Credibility of Journalists

The passing of David Carr, The New York Times voice on the media, was felt across all parts of the communications industry. I did not personally know David, but I sometimes sparred with him (if you can still call a one-way activity sparring). Such was the case when his column lamented PR types bullying journalists into providing executive quotes for approval before publishing. Showing my solidarity, I came up with the “Just Say No to No” initiative.

2. The Periodic PR Agency Plea, “Help Me Help You.”

Every person in a communications consultancy has experienced that “special” client who adds what I’ll call extra obstacles to achieving success. It takes strength of conviction to get to the finish line. For inspiration, we turn to the scene in the movie “Jerry Maguire” in which Jerry (Tom Cruise) immortalizes the line, “Help me help you.”

3. LinkedIn Encourages Bad Behavior

Think about the invites you receive to connect on LinkedIn. If you’re lucky, one out of 10 is personalized. This makes most invites more like robot media than social media. If LinkedIn simply eliminated the boilerplate that serves as the default invite, this issue would go away.

4. What Really Happened Before the NRA’s Press Conference

Just Shoot It NRA parody

The NRA’s press conference that followed the Sandy Hook Elementary School disaster came off as combative and even defiant.  I decided the situation called for parody, “recreating” the dialogue that led up to the press conference.

5. PR’s Answer to the Classic Story Arc

Most forms of business communications don’t allow for a full story with a start, an end and bad stuff in between. But PR can apply storytelling techniques which give lift to all forms of communications.

6. Dear First Time CEO of a Startup

Leading the startup charge is not for the squeamish. There’s something to be said for bringing a Type A personality to the table. Yet, as with any quality, too much of it becomes a destructive force. For those who view the Walter Isaacson book on Steve Jobs as a form of finishing schools for CEOs, I wrote this letter.

CEO Illustration - steve jobs

7. BuzzFeed Meets the White House

The White House has redefined owned media. I figure it’s only a matter of time before they cut a deal with BuzzFeed to license the platform and create GovvFeed.

8.  Why Journalists Get Cranky About PR

Peter Guber’s PR team for his book “Tell to Win” pitched me to review the book. There was only one not-so-small problem with the pitch. I had already published two reviews on the book, one for VentureBeat and one for my blog. Every time PR flings a mass blast to journalists without doing its homework, the entire profession takes a hit.

If I’m missing a deserving vintage post, by all means let me know.

At some point, I’ll go to work on “The Very Best of Ishmael’s Storytelling Hits.”

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