The Non Sequitur as ...


The grab-bag post offers a forum for three takes that individually don’t have the heft for a stand-alone post.

Here goes –

Jarring the Reader with a Non Sequitur

The non sequitur can be an effective storytelling technique.

Simply breaking up a pattern gets the reader’s attention.

Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about. ESPN The Magazine published a cover story on Aaron Rogers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers:

Green Bay Packers Aaron Rogers business storytelling public relations

As you would expect, the story focuses on football and how Rogers overcame obstacles to become one of the top players in the NFL.

But half way through the piece we get a quick lesson in cheese consumption.

cheese consumption business storytelling public relations

What does cheese have to do with football?

Absolutely nothing.

Instead, it provides relief from all the football talk and an unexpected wrinkle.

Financial Performance Not Always the Ante for Business Media Coverage

Public companies pursuing features in the business media need good financials to start the dialogue.

Not so fast.

This Journal feature on Logitech depends on the promise of a turnaround, not a turnaround gaining traction:

Logitech wall street journal business storytelling public relations

Logitech’s stock price over the past 12 months has been stagnate.

Logitech wall street journal business storytelling public relations

In fact, the journalist points out that more than 40 percent of the company’s stock value has been wiped out over the past two years.

So what’s the rationale for penning a story on a turnaround that hasn’t begun?

A new president serves as the news hook, but it’s been our experience that business journalists want to at least see signs of traction before writing this type of story.

Observing from afar, I think this is one of those situations where geography worked to Logitech’s advantage. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company pitched the Dow reporter based in Zurich. With so few manufacturers based in Switzerland and even fewer tech companies, the story is an easier sell than if the company were based in the United States.

Chinese Micro Bloggers Enjoy Advantage Over U.S.

The weibo platforms are China’s answer to micro blogging.

Like Twitter, weibos permit the user 140 characters in each post.

But a character in the Chinese language goes further than a character in English.

Ad Age recently ran a story that shows how this plays out using sample posts from McDonalds.

McDonald’s Twitter account (83 characters): It’s National Chicken Month! What’s your favorite chicken sandwich to get at McD’s?

McDonald’s Sina Weibo account (90 Chinese characters): Do you remember doing any of these things when you were little? 1. Taking a picture with Ronald McDonald. 2. Celebrating your birthday at McDonald’s. 3. Eating a Happy Meal every time so you could get a different toy. 4. Getting McDonald’s as a reward and eating a giant meal until you are stuffed. 5. Inviting your buddies to go to McDonald’s to do summer vacation homework together. … Do you miss those happy times?

Yet another Chinese advantage over the U.S.

And for the record, I never had my picture taken with Ronald McDonald.


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