Cross-posted from Ishmael’s Corner
By Lou Hoffman

I continued to collect potential vignettes for the grab bag during my “assignment” in the South of the France.

In fact, one of today’s vignettes takes a look at the use of English in France.

Here goes …

English in France

If there’s one country that rejects all things American, it’s France.

Yet, you can still find French companies using English in the quest for that certain “je ne sais quoi.”

I saw several examples of this during my time in France, with this one in particular catching my attention.

Before going further, I should alert you that the image you’re about to see might be disturbing to those over the age of 15.

Cut Shop 11-15Apparently French copywriters have more latitude than their American counterparts in shaping tag lines.

On the other end of the spectrum, this one gets the prize for corniest use of a ampersand:

CHICK& 11-15

Go-to Storytelling Technique for Journalists

Journalists — the master storytellers of business — consistently depend on contrast in crafting their narratives.

CBS Sports recently offered up this classic.Spieth Caddie 11-15

The beauty of contrast lies in the surprise, in this case that a “lowly” caddie could make more money than the richest golfer on the planet.

For my money, one of the best examples of contrast came from the PR campaign supporting India’s space mission to Mars. It pointed out that the cost of the India Mars mission required less money than the making of the movie, “Gravity.” The clever juxtaposition found its way into countless headlines:

India Mars Mission 11-15

Fortune Proclaims the Death of the Link

Contrary to the Fortune headline, “Facebook, Twitter and the death of the link,” the link is alive and well.

How people access and consume information has always been a moving target and a complex one at that. That’s really what the Fortune piece is about.

As Facebook and Twitter increasingly serve as a destination for news, the shaky economics for media properties stands to get shakier. The story has nothing to do with links except inserting a touch of drama into the headline.

I wrote on this issue last month, “Facebook and Twitter, Friend, Foe or Media Property.”

What’s important to keep in mind is that PR’s mission remains the same: to construct stories that people care about. And yes, that means applying storytelling techniques to the writing.

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