At least Bob Garfield decided to take a look at my review of his review in Advertising Age.
Monthly Archives: June 2004
Interesting how this Hughes’ Beyond Northern Iraq blog is not endorsed by his employer.
His disclaimer reads:
“Stuart Hughes works for BBC News, but this is a personal website not affiliated with, endorsed by, or funded by the BBC.”
GlaxoSmithkline PLC, now says it will post results from drug trials on the Web, The GSK Clinical Trial Register will be available to physicians and the public.
In a similar vein, the White House has released previously classified Defense Department memos on prison interrogation techniques. USA Today said in a 06/24/04 news item that an official had told the paper how the only way “to end the daily damage from news stories” about prisoner abuse incidents in Abu Ghraib prison, was to “get all the information out.”
And the definition of “all the information” may be a bit surprising. This Memo, for instance, is an example of the new PR approach.
This is the second time in a month I’ve come across the connection between PR and storytelling. Earlier in the month, at the IABC conference, master storyteller Salman Rushdie told communicators never to underestimate the power of storytelling in their jobs.
In the recent edition of CW Bulletin, the online magazine of Communication World (for IABC members only) Robbie Vorhaus observes (in an article titled “Storytelling and PR: A Novel Way of Telling Your Tale.” that PR is a form of classic storytelling, refined for business.
“It is pure non-fiction—truth—told in the exact same context as any other story form, such as movies, novels, advertising and journalism. Essentially, storytelling, and that includes PR, is having a point of view or theme, focusing on one person or thing (the hero) and taking your audience on that hero’s journey through trials and tribulations to arrive at some new point. It doesn’t matter if you’re promoting a country, company, product, person or cause; if you tell the story with the same structure, elements, archetypes and path of all great stories, your message will be heard and acted on. And, in business, whoever tells the best story wins.”
It’s so refreshing to hear this, in a market-saturated world where we have almost been made to believe that “whoever CRAFTS the best story wins.”
Asked where does one acquire storytelling skills, Vorhaus advises:
”First, stop trying to sell. Learn how to engage an audience, not manipulate it…”
Pointroll.com ran full-page ads in Advertising Age magazine featuring what looked like a ten-year old girl who had just beaten up several boys her age. They lay in an alley, bloodied and motionless, while she sat outside, looking smug. The product was called Tomboy.
Readers were outraged, and the next issue (May 24th 04) of Ad Age featured an apology by Pointroll CEO, Jules Garner who said that the ad “was intended not to shock but to dramatize.” But in that same issue, the ad featured the same girl outside a burned out building among a pile of papers next to a cauldron with fire. Stencilled on the cauldron were the words “metrics to burn”. Problem is, the building behind her is sill smoldering, with fire licking the windows. So is this ‘tomboy’ character an arsonist, as opposed to a boy basher? Or more importantly, what’s the point of the apology?
But the architects of Presidential Buzz Marketing know that drawing attention to Bill and Hillary may be a useful tactic that makes Kerry look terribly uncharismatic. So they pummel the book every day, and if you look at their recent handling of books they deem wacko or left wing, these modern day ‘book burnings’ are themselves a great way to deflect bad buzz. Iraq definitely doesn’t help the president’s election campaign. So anything is better than stories about leaked memos and Geneva convention. What would the echo chamber do without the Al Frankens, the Richard Clarkes and Paul O’Neills of this world!
Microsoft, appears to want Ad agencies to push the envelope, as was reported in Adverblog.
The press release from Redmont talks of “the paint, canvas, and technical support” it will lend to Creative Directors of agencies who want to use “sight, sound, motion and interactivity” to reach customers via integrated marketing campaigns.
To make that possible, MSN launched what it called a ‘Creative Connection Program’ involving the tools and talent of MSN, plus an accountability study, and a media tour to showcase the work.
Buried in the release is a quote from Kathy Delaney, managing partner and executive creative director for Deutsch NY, who strikes an interesting note. “Our connection with MSN allows us to do it without any handcuffs,” Delaney is quoted as saying. That’s almost like saying that Microsoft initiatives typically DO have strings attached!