Breaking the Story Code: Why the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey Matters

“The world is shaped by two things – stories told and the memories they leave behind.” – Vera Nazarian, author STORIES ARE PATTERNS. Understanding these patterns, these codes hidden in plain sight, is the key to telling stories in a world of infinite media. Stories today live across paid, earned, owned and shared channels – onceContinue reading “Breaking the Story Code: Why the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey Matters”

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”

Social Media, Milkshakes, and Life After Death (Father’s Day Re-Post)

EVERY FATHER’S DAY I use this space to remember those who don’t or perhaps never had fathers. Usually I just repost this story, originally published in 1990 when I was a newspaper columnist. Today, however, I decided to reach all the way back to 2010 and share a post I wrote titled “Social Media, MilkshakesContinue reading “Social Media, Milkshakes, and Life After Death (Father’s Day Re-Post)”

Why Most Brands Will Suck at Storytelling

“STORY” IS THE NEW “CONTENT.” As buzzwords go, story isn’t entirely bad — for years I’ve pushed clients to be storytellers. I’ve berated the descent of story into a furtive sea of “content,” stripping all emotion from human pursuits. So I’m good with story. But let’s be honest, success lies not in the idea butContinue reading “Why Most Brands Will Suck at Storytelling”

Social Media Won’t Kill Listening, But It’s Getting Harder to Hear

Not all that long ago – albeit longer than we may care to admit – families gathered around large living room radios and listened to news, dramas, comedies and live music. People read newspapers and heard the words spring to life in their heads. We watched and listened to television. Along came the Internet andContinue reading “Social Media Won’t Kill Listening, But It’s Getting Harder to Hear”

Social Media, Super Bowl Edition: Be a Community Quarterback

Now is the time of year when thoughts turn to matters of the heart – and no, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about the Super Bowl, where we see the heart of a champion. And Super Bowl parties, where we see lots of heartburn from eating foods even Paula Dean would considerContinue reading “Social Media, Super Bowl Edition: Be a Community Quarterback”

My Year of Living (Not So) Dangerously

There are three kinds of “leaps” a person can take: A leap of conscience A leap of comfort A leap of faith A year ago, I took all three. I ran giddy and trembling into the unknown. I leaped – and so far at least, it seems I stuck the landing. I’ve done this before:Continue reading “My Year of Living (Not So) Dangerously”

Letting the Audience Lead

An anxious mother walked closely behind her son at the Seattle airport. The child, who was barely a toddler, wanted to explorer. The mom wanted to catch him before he “explored” down the escalator. This delicate dance – son dashing for adventure, mom trying to catch him – went on for minutes. Son goes oneContinue reading “Letting the Audience Lead”

Brands Should Be Social, But That Doesn’t Make Them Your “Friends”

I have a friend who sells insurance. The problem is I never know when he is my friend or when he is an insurance salesman – he says he wants to be both, but I know deep down that what he really wants is a sale. We were friends in high school and didn’t reconnectContinue reading “Brands Should Be Social, But That Doesn’t Make Them Your “Friends””