The Reading List: The Power of Email Newsletters and More

This week’s reading list is a mix of commentary, good storytelling examples and a look at a medium some may consider dead — email.

Photo by Flickr user  David Joyce

Photo by Flickr user David Joyce

1. The Content Marketing Revolution

This commentary in the Harvard Business Review blog looks at the phenomenon of brand content marketing as a historic transformation. It’s an interesting analysis of how content marketing is changing the way companies communicate with the public and how brands are becoming information distributors. Great read for anyone involved in communications and marketing.

2. For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated

With the social media explosion, it may be surprising to many that email has remained the darling of marketers. Although it’s true that the younger generation prefers texting, Snapchating and whatnot, the electronic inbox remains an effective avenue for distributing information. This article in the New York Times explains why.

3. How to Build a Successful Newsletter: Advice from Quartz

While you’re contemplating the power of email, check out this article for a brief case study of Quartz, an online news outlet owned by Atlantic Media Co. (publisher of The Atlantic, among other things). Quartz has grown to an audience of 5 million in 20 months, and has an email subscriber base of 77,000 for its Daily Brief e-newsletter. The e-newsletter has a 40-50 percent open rate, which is rare these days. Read this article to find out what Quartz is doing right.

4. Hugh Jackman Hailed Me a Cab: The Power of Lasting Impressions

As I’ve written before, the core purpose of a story is to inform or entertain — and preferably, both. This LinkedIn post by Jeff Haden, contributing editor for Inc. Magazine, is an excellent example. There’s no humor or over-the-top entertaining yet the article is captivating and memorable (of course, it doesn’t hurt either that it tells an interesting story about a famous person).

5. Infographic: Storytelling Vs. Corporate Speak

My recommended infographic for the week is a quick refresher from The Hoffman Agency about the difference between interesting and boring in corporate communications. Nice reminder for anyone using storytelling to communicate a message.

Business Communication
The Hoffman Agency is a public relations firm that emphasizes storytelling in business communication.

Author: Rodika Tollefson


  1. We appreciate your blog calling attention to our infographic on storytelling.

    And agree with your point that the “core purpose of a story is to inform or entertain — and preferably.” Often companies, particularly B2B companies, underestimate the value of bringing an entertainment dimension to a given communication.

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you for reading, Lou! I agree that companies underestimate the value of entertainment, and perhaps sometimes also misinterpret what “entertainment” means.

      Post a Reply

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