The Top 10 Storytelling ...


What a weird year.

Being the mug-is-half-full type, I believe 2021 will (eventually) bring us some semblance of normalcy.

As for the past year, I could have devoted every post to the antics from the White House. Exercising restraint that would have made my mom proud, I found plenty of other topics to parachute into.

The following captures the first half of my Top 10 storytelling posts in 2020. I’ll publish the second half of the list tomorrow.

Keep in mind that when I say the Top 10, I’m not talking about the posts that garnered the most traffic. Instead, I’m curated the ones that graded out at the top when it comes to distinct point of view and amusement value.

Here goes..




1) How the Hell Does This Trader Joe’s Story Land in The Wall Street Journal?


As a resource to the PR profession. I periodically reverse-engineer stories in the media to understand the individual components that resonated with the journalist. In the case of Trader Joe’s piece in The Wall Street Journal, it started with four questions:

  • Does the story reveal something new about the economy?
  • Does the story provide lessons on business operations?
  • Does the story help investors?
  • Does the story make a case for manufacturing more chocolate-coated pretzels?

No, no, no and no.

Probing deeper, we found the “why.”


2) If the FDA Called Us About a Communications Plan for the COVID-19 Vaccine



I wrote this post in September before the recent good news that all those people in white coats toiling on vaccines has paid off with final approvals expected no later than January. Still, this doesn’t solve the problem of Americans not trusting a vaccine. I heard the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, talking about this very issue on NPR last Sunday. It turns out that Virginia is teaming with priests, ministers and other religious leaders to cultivate trust in a vaccine, right out of our playbook.


3) Does Tesla Really Need a PR Function?


When Elon Musk decided to exit Tesla’s PR team, it triggered a lively discussion around Tesla’s media profile, the future of communications and the meaning of life. History shows Musk has been headed in this direction for years. While Tesla’s media profile won’t erode, there are other downsides that will hurt the company over time.


4) Google Ignores Its Own Best Practices for SEO



If any organization should nail the fundamentals of SEO, it’s Google. After all, Google wrote the rules behind online search and holds the keys to the algorithm.

Yet, our investigation reveals that Google strays from best practices.

The source code tells the story.


5) The Act of Being Nice


People tend to underrate being nice.

Some might even consider being nice is a sign of weakness. As the Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher famously put it, “Nice guys finish last.”

I don’t believe that was true in 1946, and I definitely don’t believe that’s true today.

With the help of our stellar design team, we encourage with a touch of levity.


The rest of the Top 10 comes your way on Thursday.



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