Why You Need "Power Performance"

Power Performance BookWith the explosive growth of online video, effective and ethical storytelling is more important than ever. Whether you’re a journalist covering a news event, or a public relations practitioner delivering a product or a message, you must be able to define your story and present it on multiple platforms. In my book, “Power Performance,” you’ll learn:

• the role of the storyteller in history and in high tech multimedia
• how to develop the story for print, video and online platforms
• storytelling for public relations
• presentation skills for appearing on camera
• global and ethical issues

Why I Co-Wrote This Book

I began teaching all aspects of news writing at USC in 1991. Sadly, most of the available textbooks were limited to “how to write news in English for Americans.” After a bit of instruction, most of my students could turn out decent sentences. The real challenge was developing their stories with the most compelling pictures and interviews, and then learning how to present the story. Multimedia made it necessary to develop those skills on multiple platforms for a global audience.

As an international journalism educator, I teach reporters to go beyond the official press release to discover how the news affects real people. I consult public relations practitioners on ways to define their product or message through storytelling. A lot of them asked, “Is there a book I can read?”

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to find outstanding professionals who were willing to speak to my classes. Students told me those sessions helped them understand the role of the journalist and the public relations practitioner. I wanted to share this wisdom with students everywhere. My hope is that they will use this knowledge to develop an ethical framework for effective journalism and public relations, no matter where future technology may lead. This book is a good place to start.

Words of Wisdom From “Power Performance”

Reading this book is like a social networking opportunity with some of the best journalists and PR people in the business. Our Power Profiles give you insight into how they started their careers, became successful storytellers, and adapted to the changing technology of multimedia.

Some excerpts:

“Talk to people the way you talk to the people you love. You wouldn’t patronize them or announce something to them. You wouldn’t use a different voice or a big persona. Envision your audience and just talk to people.”
–Brian Williams, anchor, NBC Nightly News

“Even in a serious story, it’s never okay to just stand in front of the camera and talk. It’s a visual form of communication. If I’m going to do a standup, I make it informative, active and visual.”
–Joe Little, reporter, KGTV, San Diego

“The truth is: If you don’t know how to present yourself on camera, the power of your words will be lost in the awkwardness of your presentation. You look at print websites that do video and there’s a clear difference seeing some guy in front of the camera versus someone who knows what they’re doing.”
–JR Raphael, Contributing Editor, Computerworld

“Without journalists, no democracy can survive. It is crystal clear, when you see a dramatization of the journalist on the big or small screen, that it’s important to do the job of a journalist well.”
–Joe Saltzman, director, The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture

“The constellation of jobs is changing. You might be an entrepreneur. You may be freelancing or contributing to a bunch of different places. When you are a freelancer, and not on staff, you are easy to overlook. But if you are the person who is solving their problems, they come to rely on you and use you more. That’s when you can really thrive.”
-–Eric Deggans, TV and media critic, St. Petersburg Times and tampabay.com

“The value of social media in aggregating an audience is to become a mini-brand, a personality. Journalists now are not just reporting news, they are creating content for their own personal channels of delivery.”
–James Lee, president, the Lee Strategy Group

The Reviews Are In

A couple of early reviews of “Power Performance”:

“A clear, thoughtful, tip-filled tour of the unfolding world of multimedia news. Working pros help the authors guide students toward success in these challenging new forms of storytelling.”
–Jim Upshaw, University of Oregon

“The book is a valuable resource for students and professionals alike. Engagingly written, it combines clear instruction with an impressive synthesis of research and historical context on this multifaceted topic.”
–Lee Hood, Loyola University Chicago

Buy the Book

There are three options to buy the book:

• From the publisher at wiley.com.

• From Amazon.com.

• Or you can buy the book directly from me. Send me an email with your request and I’ll invoice you on Paypal. If you are a coaching client, I can add the book to your coaching invoice.