Tag Archives: buckhead

Why Social Media Storytelling is Like a Good Burger

PRSA, Georgia, Atlanta, Maggiano's, public relations, internal communications, business communications, social media, storytelling, facebook, twitter, instagram, children's hospital of atlanta, fleishmanHillard, Georgia Tech, Tech

My burger of choice is at Yeah! Burger, and here Steven Norris and I disagree. He’s more a Bocado man.

I love a good burger and I love storytelling. But it took a Georgia Tech social media pro to connect them for me today.

Social media storytelling is a lot like a good burger, Steven Norris said at a panel discussion sponsored by the Georgia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. A burger should be handcrafted, authentic and multi-layered, just like many stories told via social media. Different channels are like various toppings and condiments — with content being the meat patty and analytics the bun.

I like the idea, largely because it puts content as the centerpiece, regardless of, say, condiments or toppings. It will vary from project to project whether we employ chiefly Twitter, Facebook, any of the others or a combination of some of them. Maybe you lead with a nice slice of American cheese, squirt on a little ketchup and mustard and add some pickle slices today. Tomorrow, you keep it to a simple double-stack with mayo and lettuce. Wrap it all up in fresh-baked analytics, and you’re good to go.

PRSA, Georgia, Atlanta, Maggiano's, public relations, internal communications, business communications, social media, storytelling, facebook, twitter, instagram, children's hospital of atlanta, fleishmanHillard, Georgia Tech, Tech

Maria Jewett and Meg Flynn, with Steven Norris’s slide on the social media storytelling/burger recipe.

You get what he meant.

Some other nice moments from him and the other two panelists:

  • Steven: Any good social media post drives readers back to your website.
  • Maria Jewett of FleishmanHillard: “Having a great cause and having a great story will help your brand grow.”
  • Maria: “I am the editor of my own personal story and so are all of you” — and it’s not much different working for brands or companies.
  • Meg Flynn of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: It’s better to focus on original content (including images) than repurpose marketing material and stock photos.

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Some Sushi Might be Art, but This Was Something Else

Fuyuhik Ito, jazzman, sushi, umi, atlanta, restaurant, buckhead

Chef Fuyuhik Ito

You know how some meals are so good they transcend mere dining and become something bigger? How the skill and soul put into their preparation is not just cooking, but something more profound?

Maybe it’s your grandmother’s Thanksgiving spread, or even your kid’s first attempt at breakfast in bed, or simply food so freaking delicious that it fills you will pleasure and joy.

I had one of those meals recently at Umi Sushi in Buckhead. I went with a pal, who is a chef and knows many people in Atlanta’s restaurant scene. Inside Umi’s swank dining room, the staff and chef Fuyuhik Ito recognized my friend and seated us in the center spot at the sushi bar, where Ito told us to put down our menus because he would be preparing our meal, one item at a time.

I watched him slice magnificent bricks of fresh tuna, salmon and more, place them over warm pods of rice, decorate them with various vegetables and fruits. I was in melt-in-your-mouth foodie heaven, nodding and smiling and admiring and enjoying. Flame charred beef, the delight of the uni…

sushi, buckhead, atlanta, restaurant, umi, itoAround us, we overheard so many other diners admiring the visual beauty of the fish as art. And, indeed, the plates looked exquisite and, somehow, imminently devourable, as well. Pristine, fresh, a little roe sprinkled on this one, maybe wasabi applied ever-so-lightly.

Art? Yes, but… But there’s something more… What is it, I asked him. Are you telling a story with each meal, the way you serve one distinct plate after another?

“No, it’s not a story. And everybody says it’s art, but it’s not art to me,” Ito said. “To me, it’s jazz.”

And he explained how he was building our meal spontaneously, noticing how we reacted to notes and textures, incorporating our reactions with the day’s catch (flown in from Japan), what else he had going on in the kitchen, and what he wanted to share with us.

Art? Sure. A narrative? Maybe.

But sushi as jazz? Oh, yeah, man. That night in Buckhead, oh, yeah.

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When Speaking, Remember the Power of the Pause

Next time you have to talk in front of a group or in a one-on-one presentation, remember this advice: Hold on a bit.

Jorge Barria, Speakeasy, storytelling, corporate communications, Atlanta, Buckhead, executive speeches, how to teach executives to speak, training, leadership, leaders, when to pause

Jorge Barria of Speakeasy

“Pausing is one of the best choices you can make in a speaking situation,” says Jorge Barria of Speakeasy, a Buckhead communications consultancy that helps executives and others improve their storytelling skills.

“It allows you to inhale and exhale to relax, and it gives you time to think, so it reduces your fear that your mind is going to go blank. The pause also helps you be a more effective speaker because it helps you project authority, energy and audience awareness.”

I enjoyed the expertise of Barria and the Speakeasy team recently. The teachings are invaluable to me. Although I’m comfortable writing stories about other people, I’m less confident talking about myself. In particular, I sometimes struggle to find the right balance between humility and appropriate self-promotion. Go too far one way and risk appearing arrogant — too far the other way and I might seem dispassionate.

Barria likens the pause to a Swiss Army knife because of its multitude of uses. It lets your audience absorb your content. And in storytelling, in particular, it can help… build… anticipation.

Anticipation, yes, and … payoff.


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