A blog can have flashy graphics and an eye-catching design, but without a distinctive voice behind it, few people will be drawn in again and again. Ishmael’s Corner
, the brainchild of Lou Hoffman, CEO and founder of The Hoffman Agency
, has a voice and perspective that stand out from the stereotype of a jargon-heavy, dry industry blog. Hoffman’s blog focuses instead on the art of storytelling in the PR and media industries. It’s an approach that earned The Hoffman Agency a first-place award for Best Blog in PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards.
A glance at a post from August makes the case. “Visual storytelling lessons from BusinessWeek
” (Aug. 8, 2013) explores a BusinessWeek
story about a refugee camp in Jordan. The story, “500,000 loaves of flatbread a day,” doesn’t depend on words and statistics to cover its subject; instead it relies on images that bring the experience of refugee life into sharp focus. “Rather than assign a journalist to write a 500+ word narrative,” Mr. Hoffman writes, “BusinessWeek
melts the complexity into a picture story that can be understood by anyone, not just those with Ph.D.s in Middle Eastern studies.” (See the post at here.
One post that drew a high level of traffic was “Why journalists get cranky about PR” (Dec. 5, 2012). From the blog:
I’ve pasted the mass-blast pitch from the division of Ruder Finn that came my way promoting Peter Guber’s book, Tell to Win, at the end of this post.
If the PR person had taken 60 seconds to do a Google search [site:ishmaelscorner.com Guber] she would have known that I’ve already reviewed the book.
If the PR person had taken another 60 seconds for a general search [“lou hoffman” and “guber”], she would have discovered that I wrote and placed a review of the book in VentureBeat.
Yet, the pitch closes with “Let me know if you’d like a review copy of the book …”
Not one nanosecond was put into connecting the client’s agenda with the target’s mission. Pasting a “Hi Lou” into the email does not count.
The post generated 73 tweets, 14 comments, 649 unique page views, and 705 total page views. Since January of 2012, Ishmael’s Corner has received more than 45,000 unique visitors to its site, a 31 percent increase over the previous 18-month period. Its popularity continues to soar, serving to establish Mr. Hoffman as an influencer within the PR industry.
Mr. Hoffman and his staff have created a blog that tells stories and tells them well, making The Hoffman Agency a deserving winner.
Visit Ishmael's Corner here.
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