Listen: my conversation with SI's Ben Reiter

In this episode, Ben and I talk about how he turned a 2014 SI article about the Houston Astros — when they were the worst team in all of baseball — into a book on the 2018 New York Times Best Seller list. Ben also reveals why Astroball would be a better movie than its predecessor, Moneyball.

LISTEN: My conversation with actor Joe Cole

In this episode Joe and I talk about his latest role where he portrays real life boxer Billy Moore, whose drug addictions land him in Thailand's worst prisons. Joe touches on life growing up in south London, the kind of future projects he's looking for, and much more!

LISTEN: My conversation with si's jon wertheim

We discuss how on earth Nadal and Federer are No. 1 and No. 2 in the world 10 years removed from their historic 2008 Wimbledon final, Serena's 2018 ranking debate, a cool story about career advice Jon received from the late Frank Deford when he first arrived at Sports Illustrated, and much more!

1/23/18: The Hard Truth

In my experience as a member of the media — albeit only six years — it’s discouraging that the journalism landscape has become overrun with slideshow “articles” and “top-10 reasons why...” pieces.


In spite of this reality, as a storyteller, I am very fortunate to have met Influential people in media and editors at highly-visible publications (all will remain nameless). However, virtually every one of them has confessed some version of the following to me:


To paraphrase...“You can be the most amazing writer, and secure the best interviews, but if you don’t have a huge social media following, none of it matters.”


While I always get different answers about what constitutes a “huge” following, I constantly wonder — is this true?

Have the values of hiring editors and PR hustlers disintegrated so much that their idea of what readers want to consume is solely based on a writer’s following, shallow content and a “click bait” headline?


Perhaps nobody cares about a good story anymore. But I do. And I know that puts me in the minority.


Yet, I don’t ignore the social media aspect of journalism, I just refuse to trade in quality writing for cookie-cutter articles with the purpose of creating pseudo controversy.


I’ll leave you with this.


Ever wonder why you can remember events in history, but not always the dates? Simple. Because our brains process stories better than facts.


So if you’re looking for a great storyteller, contact me!


Benjamin.blockj@gmail.com

914-629-3937

1/14/18: What's your story of success? HINT...It's not hard work and talent alone

Everybody has a story. And I've poured thousands of hours into drawing such stories out of my clients and subjects. The one constant they all have in common?  Hard work and talent often has very little to do with who they are and where they are today.


I recently heard two examples that reinforced this to me, which I thought I'd share with you. 


One came in the form of a question issued by President Obama

The other was a statement made by WFAN Sports Radio's Steve Somers


President Obama — informally sitting opposite David Letterman on the comedian's new Netflix show — pressed the former Late Night host about whether he'd ever asked himself, "Man, am I lucky?"  Adding context to the question, the President explained how he's heard countless people attribute their success to hard work and talent, but that he always found that reasoning to be a bit hollow. And I agree. Many people work tirelessly and are talented, but never make it. What the president was trying to draw out of Letterman was whether he felt that an element of chance/serendipity was involved in his success. And Letterman told a story that illustrated how he has been nothing but lucky his whole life, which he preceded by telling the President that this was the biggest thing he is struggling with in his life right now. It was a profound example of how luck and circumstance can shape someone. More importantly, I learned more about Letterman in that moment than I had reading or listening to interviews he gave about his professional successes the past thirty years.


Steve Somers — the longest tenured radio host on New York's famed WFAN Sports Radio station — is known to listeners simply as, "The Schmooze." He often drips with wit, uncanny metaphors, wildly funny misdirections and satire. Somers is the voice of the people, in this writer's humble opinion. Well, one night a young caller identified himself as an aspiring sports journalist, and sought the Schmooze's advice about how to make it. Somers offered a lot of thoughtful positive reinforcement, and urged the young man to not let all the "no's" he'd inevitably hear along the way break his spirit. And what began as advice for this young man, turned into a story of Somers' personal journey. Then he said something that resonated with me. "I’ve been in work signing an autograph and out of work signing an unemployment check."  That singular statement made me think about President Obama's theory — there has to be an element of chance involved in a person's success. It just can't solely be hard work and talent. It just can't be.


So, what's your story? 


Ready to dive deeper than just plain old examples of hard work and talent? 


Contact me! 


Benjamin.blockj@gmail.com

914-629-3937

12/12/17

I’m thrilled to announce that I have just partnered with Portada — an innovator and leader in marketing — to aid them in their content strategy efforts. A great foundation for accomplishing this is through targeted blog posts. Please click on the button below to view my first post for them to see what I mean. 

 

And if you or someone you know are interested in learning more about the value that I can provide, please contact me today at Benjamin.blockj@gmail.com