Top Storytelling Posts from ...


Yesterday’s post shared half of the list capturing my top storytelling posts from H1 2013.

Today brings the second half.

I consider this my top post so far this year. After challenging a USA Today editorial that claimed the White House’s leverage of owned media was wrecking journalism, I thought, “If you believe it’s problem now, try revisiting the topic in a few years.” To make the point, we created “GovFeed” – what would happen if the White House poached talent out of BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed Meets White House

At its core, global PR isn’t about infrastructure or titles. Success or failure essentially comes down to two questions:

Do the account team members collaborate in a way that leverages content and thinking across geographies?

Do the account team members care about what happens outside their local markets?

Simple stuff. Not so simple in executing.

The bombardment of information has turned the headline into eye candy. Write a good one, and readers stop to give the body copy a chance. If you don’t, the readers’ attention never breaks stride, and they’re on to other things in a nanosecond.

How far should one push the envelope of sensationalism?

This exercise shows where the quest for readers is headed.

Fortune journalist Patricia Sellers summed up classic storytelling saying, “If failure isn’t part of the story, I’m not that interested.”

Of course, communicators are conditioned to do the exact opposite.

This conundrum led to the creation of “The Communicator’s Spike.”

communicators spike

Anticipating that Warren Buffett might struggle keeping up with the pace of Twitter, I proactively crafted 20 tweets that Warren could stockpile and use at his discretion, such as the following:

“Making small talk with @7eleven clerk. He thought Solomon Brothers was a brand of beef jerky.”

Sure enough, two months later and Warren has generated a grand total of three tweets.

I increasingly find fodder for posts in the absurdity that seems to touch the communications business on a regular basis.

No reason to think this will change in the future.

Thanks for reading.


  • Jeff Domansky

    Lou, still like the “aliens” headline post best. Thanks for reprising your own favorites. I enjoyed looking over them again.

    • hoffman


      Great to have your feedback.

      The Alien post didn’t crack the top in terms of traffic. I suppose yet another proof point that what amuses me doesn’t necessarily amuse others.

  • Public Relations Firm

    Good read. Interesting headlines to say the least. Thanks for sharing.


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