In 2015, Let’s Create Stories That Live Up To Our Screens

MY DAUGHTER RECENTLY UPGRADED from the I can’t-believe-you-carry-that-embarrassing-relic iPhone 4 to the new, shiny, I-am-a-respectable-member-of-modern-society iPhone 6. She touched the device and the heavens opened: Streaks of sunlight embraced her from the sky, fireworks erupted in a brilliant ballet and woodland animals gathered nearby to celebrate. Okay, not really. And by “not really” I meanContinue reading “In 2015, Let’s Create Stories That Live Up To Our Screens”

Memories, Social Media and the Secret to Transforming Time

TIME IS A THIEF. My first memory was not my first memory, it was simply all that was left after time erased the first eight years of my life. Time took away my dad so it took any memory of him too. Time is a thief. And it is relentless. Time threatened to kill meContinue reading “Memories, Social Media and the Secret to Transforming Time”

Engagement vs. Enragement: Michael Sam, Richie Incognito, and the Two Sides of Social Media

WHEN MISSOURI FOOTBALL PLAYER Michael Sam revealed he was gay, it was a landmark moment not just for professional sports but also for the power of social media. Within seconds of Sam’s New York Times story and interview on ESPN, we saw a flood of support from players and coaches. We saw quotes of concernContinue reading “Engagement vs. Enragement: Michael Sam, Richie Incognito, and the Two Sides of Social Media”

“Emotional Hero” — Step Two of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey

EACH STEP OF THE Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey is essential, but perhaps none more so than step two, the Emotional Hero. You might argue that emotion isn’t just a step; it’s a core ingredient in the overall narrative. Emotion – a laugh or a cry, a scare or a smile – is what makes aContinue reading ““Emotional Hero” — Step Two of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey”

We are the Monsters On Maple Street: A Final Word on Justine Sacco

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes and prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill. And suspicion can destroy. And a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout allContinue reading “We are the Monsters On Maple Street: A Final Word on Justine Sacco”

A Social Media Prayer (Updated for 2013)

Our user profiles, who art online, hallowed be our names. Thy check-ins done, thy badges won, on Earth as they are on FourSquare. Give us this day our smartphone apps. And forgive us our overuse of emoticons and Instagram filters, as we forgive those who tag us in old high school photos on Facebook. AndContinue reading “A Social Media Prayer (Updated for 2013)”

Moving On from Social Media

LET THIS BE THE YEAR. Let 2013 be the time it ends. I’m sick of social media and I’m sure most of you are, too. It’s done, it’s old and it’s out of touch with modern life. Giving clients a social media strategy used to make agencies and clients look smart, now it just makesContinue reading “Moving On from Social Media”

If Technology is the Heart of Social Media, Then People are the Soul

I’M CONSISTENTLY AMAZED BY how many companies engage in social media and forget that the word “social” is right there. But I don’t entirely blame them – I blame us. By “us” I mean the so-called professional communicators who are supposed to know better. Yet we too often stand idle while our clients treat TwitterContinue reading “If Technology is the Heart of Social Media, Then People are the Soul”

Kill the Click: Digital is All About the Clock

IT’S TIME TO KILL the click. This isn’t something the traditional digital advertising industry wants to hear (and yes, there is such a thing as “traditional” digital advertising.) Clicks equal cash goes the maxim, though those selling clicks are the ones who make the real cash – not necessarily the companies trying to get customersContinue reading “Kill the Click: Digital is All About the Clock”

Journalists to Brands: Don’t Give Us “Content,” Tell Us Stories

ALTHOUGH I CAN’T TRACE THE ORIGIN with any certainty, I’m nevertheless pretty sure that the word “content” was first used by a marketer, not a by a journalist. Journalists are in the business of stories. Always have been – and despite the 24/7 streams of info-snacks and feeds forced through ever-congested virtual pipes, they alwaysContinue reading “Journalists to Brands: Don’t Give Us “Content,” Tell Us Stories”