02/23/2013 Communications Stories from Here & There

Below are five notable communications stories from the week ending February 22, 2013.

“Tech Predictions for 2013: It’s All about Mobile” by Claire Cain Miller, in The New York Times, February 18.

In this post, Miller discusses some of the findings from the recent ComScore report on Web and mobile usage in 2012 and expectations for this year. The report, she says, “shows that the effects of a movement toward mobile are everywhere, from shopping to media to search” and that “businesses will have to scramble to stay ahead of consumers’ changing behavior.”

She shares a few of the “interesting tidbits” from the 48-page report, beginning with the observation that “The mobile transition is happening astonishingly quickly.”

“The Dirty Secret about Online Content and Shrinking Attention Spans” by Eric Kokonas, on Ragan’s PR Daily, February 20.

In this thought-provoking post, Kokonas provides more details than are usually given to why our attention span is getting shorter and shorter as we become consumed with Twitter, Facebook, and other online media. And he turns on its head the argument that online content “sucks” (to use his word) because of the shortened attention span.

Kokonas says, for example, “The problem is that digital media is designed to be clicked, consumed, and spread as quickly as possible.” Then he adds, “The goal for digital content is not to produce well-written, thought-provoking articles and videos, but to create content that can be spread quickly and easily” because when someone takes the time to read, ad dollars are not generated.

He also points to evidence of a growing demand for better content and to examples of excellent long-form content being posted regularly on a number of websites.

“Fortune Journalist Cuts to the Core of Storytelling in Business,” a blog post by Lou Hoffman, on Ishmael’s Corner, February 21.

In this post, Hoffman, includes a short video in which Pattie Sellers, senior editor at large for Fortune magazine, discusses storytelling and its importance to entrepreneurs. He provides a graph explaining Sellers’ description of what she thinks the best stories must contain.

Key among these elements is failure. “If failure isn’t part of the story, I’m not that interested,” Sellers says in this informative video.

“Bookish Aims to Grow Book Market,” by Brittaney Kiefer, on PRWeek, February 21.

Kiefer discusses the newly launched Bookish, a book review and retail website, and its goal to connect readers with books and authors and to expand the book market.

Besides recommending books, the site provides author interviews and videos, as well as book reviews and reading lists. “We’ve tried to create more depth of content and information relating to books and authors than you might get in most places online, as well as bring in the independent expert point of view,” Keifer quotes Bookish’s CEO in this post.

“Images for Wine in Down-to-Earth Designs” by Julia Flynn Siler, in The Wall Street Journal, February 23.

Whether we work in PR, advertising, design or any other endeavor that helps our companies or clients better market their products, each of us must rely on his or her own creativity to execute the best work possible. And we each must address this creativity with an individual approach.

In this article about creativity, Siler discusses the way Susan Pate, a wine-label designer, gets ideas for her designs.

Pate starts, says Siler, by examining the “environment in which the wine is produced, including soil, topography and climate.” Her research helps her choose appropriate color palettes and often leads to images based on found objects, such as twigs or vines.

This approach has worked very well for her. For many years now, she has designed labels—as well as helped name wines and select the shape, type of class, and color for wine bottles—for estates and celebrity winemakers in the United States, Italy, and France.

She prefers to work with clients who are passionate about their wines, people who are not too literal-minded and will appreciate her evocative images.