Here’s a great storytelling tip to write a better script for your year ahead in 2017


The script for your year ahead – your speech lines and plot are already part-written. Yet is it the script you want? Is it the script that delivers the results you seek?

Luckily, you can do something to change your destiny, to create the outcomes you desire.

If you want to change things however, you first need to identify the script you are currently running. To change the behaviour or the expected outcome, you need to change the underlying script.

I teach about ‘story-listening’ in my Brand Story classes.

I share that there are 5 Prime Plots – by knowing the 5 Prime Plots you can listen and identify the plot at work in any message or communication. Read more

Celebrate Twixtmas


I love this time of year – forget Christmas or New Year – yes, Twixtmas is coming; the five days between the Christmas and New Year holidays. These days are a precious opportunity to do five things to make your world a better place.

We all complain of being ‘time poor’, yet we have five days where many complain of being bored, stuck in the house or fed up with the prospect of shopping or crowded car parks and city centres.

For several years now I have been promoting Twixtmas, tying into a theme of celebrating reciprocal altruism and building social capital. Twixtmas offers a fresh alternative to the excessive consumerism of Christmas, or the
over-indulgence of New Year.

It’s a time to do good, take stock, or look at things in a fresh light.

There are a lot of useful tips, advice and inspiration on the Twixtmas website.

Why not write your ten goals for the year, contact a friend or family member you’ve lost touch with, or do something for the environment?

Each day of Twixtmas has a special theme to encourage you to make the most of this special opportunity.

There’s even a test to measure how time poor you are (what do you mean? You haven’t got time to click through 🙂 ) Read more

The changing world of brand storytelling – an interview with Jim Hawker


I am blessed with knowing some really good people whose ideas and thinking inspire me, and I believe will inspire others.

In this new series I talk to leading thinkers and doers in marketing communications and PR on the changing world of how we tell corporate stories and brand stories.

The interviews aim to provide the latest insights from the lips of outstanding and original practitioners for the benefit of other practitioners, academics and students.

We start our series here with Jim Hawker, co-founder and Creative Director of leading London-based integrated communications agency Threepipe.


Andy: What ways do you do ‘storytelling’? How is that different to what you used to do, or how other agencies claim to do it? Read more

Did you know there are three types of problem and three different ways your creativity should respond?


I have been teaching about how to improve creative abilities and performance for over 25 years now. Yet, I am doing my best to alert people, make them aware that we need to be doing creativity differently, otherwise you could get left behind.

Creativity is a key driver for change, yet the nature of ‘doing creativity’ needs to change in order to be effective.

You need to recognise how growing complexity means traditional creative responses are increasingly inadequate to deliver ‘big multi-channel ideas’. You need strategic narratives.

Traditional PR skills in news storytelling and media relations, for example, are insufficient for outstanding results beyond 2016.

Failure to adapt could witness you being marginalised with less influence, budgets or status. However, help is at hand.

The key drivers for change are growing complexity coupled with greater convergence of communications, along with the need for greater emotional connections within communications.

Add to the mix the need to tell your story through images/moving images, plus the growth of content marketing, and recognition of public relations’ distinct skills in managing wider relationships and building social capital – all this adds up to massive, yet achievable, opportunities for creative communicators. Read more

Why PR needs a campaign against ‘Fluffy PR’.


I keep telling people that in the world of public relations there is a ‘monster’. It is holding back but could ultimately destroy PR, consigning it to become a dinosaur in the world of ye olde marketing communications.

The recent AMEC’s Measurement Month in September provided an opportunity for the agency where I work as an Associate, Smoking Gun PR, to launch a crusade against this monster.

The monster is called ‘Fluffy PR’.

Check out this brilliant two-minute animated film on the secret of how this monster can be destroyed. Read more

Are you using a blunt pencil with your storytelling?


People are only bothered about themselves.

I get so frustrated when people fail to realise this basic fact of life. Isn’t it time we woke up to this when we seek to do our marketing, PR, selling, or people management?

You can relate to this; people now have less time to listen, there’s more noise going on and even if you get through, will you make the impact you want or be remembered?

Yet take a look at your current messages; are they inspiring in any way? Do they relate or create an emotional connection with others? Even what might seem a mundane product can still engage. I really want to help you here.

Are you telling your story with the equivalent of a blunt pencil? Are you failing to miss out on the magnificence that resides in each and every one of us? Try my easy-to-do test to check the health of your brand story.

We now live in an age of content marketing: content is king, or queen. Your content ranges from thought leadership articles to feature stories and blogs, news releases, conversation items and shared conversation items.

Your story and its narrative, however, sit above all this, providing a prism through which you can tell your story – either well, or badly – the equivalent of the blunt pencil. Read more

Trump victory – when are we going to wake up to the social capital crisis in our societies?


Trump’s win is the latest consequence of our social capital crisis. Following on from the Brexit vote we have yet another example of the consequences of living in divided communities.

How many working class people do you know? Did half the people you know vote Brexit?

The US Presidential election and the UK’s referendum result revealed a disturbing reality of two tribes within modern Western societies ­– and what’s worse, they’re increasingly having less to do with each other.

It is all part of a hidden crisis within our societies – the decline of social capital – and it was a key factor in the recent election results.

This hidden social capital crisis affects the very heartbeat of how our communities work. Fewer people devote themselves to the communal good, and fewer of us are getting involved in doing things, running things or just hanging around with each other – how we help each other to help each other – reducing our capacity to connect, co-operate and collaborate. Read more



A massive thank you to every who voted for me to re-elect me to the Council of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

The public relations profession is, I believe, at a crossroads. It needs leadership, guidance and support to all practitioners in challenging and interesting times, yet full of opportunity.

Please do get in touch with me if there is anything you think the CIPR should be doing.


Social Capital in action – 2 men strolling for peace and understanding

A wonderful real world social experiment shows the power of Social Capital in action.

Two men are filmed walking through different neighbourhoods. Nothing unusual about that – except one is clearly an Arab Muslim, the other patently a Jew.

Their journey creates different responses. From the majority there’s initial astonishment and bemusement – a psychological response perhaps to their making themselves comfortable about observing an uncomfortable reality.

A minority make the point of engaging and sharing their endorsement and support of what the two men symbolise, of people of different faiths and communities coming together.

One reaction however verges on violent repudiation, with the Arab being aggressively accused by one passer-by of being a ‘terrorist’: a consequence, no doubt, of the abuser only ever seeing people in Arab dress in the media, tagged as ‘terrorists’.

Read more

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