Certain storylines never go out of style.
People love to see bullies get punched in the nose (like when Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly clocked Biff in “Back to the Future”).
Perseverance overcoming all obstacles is another can’t-miss theme.
But there’s no story quite like coming back from the dead to spike the ratings. Such was the case last week when Bloomberg inadvertently published its latest version of Steve Jobs’ obituary, available in its entirety at Gawker.com.
The search volume on Google Trends is just one indicator of substantial traction for the story.
As you would expect, the blogosphere had a field day with the gaffe. There were a few headlines that I thought were particularly good: “Bloomberg: Steve Jobs is dead! Wait, no he’s not” on Ars Technica and “Steve Jobs: Still Not Dead. Film at 11” on The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
Even the blog serving the society of professional obituary writers — I suppose if you’re not a “professional” obit writer, venture in at your own peril — got in on the fun with the double entendre: “Whoops a daisies!”
Humor is a great tool to snag the audience’s attention from the get go and a powerful element for storytelling in general.
The fact that humor is underutilized in business communications makes it all the more effective.