Author Robert Deigh is a Reston Chamber member. This article is adapted from his PR book, "How Come No One Knows About Us?" now available for half price at this link:
When it comes to communicating the value of your services, products or issues, effective storytelling is everything. It helps others understand and remember what you do and it enhances your reputation. This is a must on social media when you have only seconds to make an impression. But it is also critically important in face-to-face meetings, presentations, press releases, case studies and even in business proposals.
Think about well-known companies and you probably already know their stories because they are compelling -- Tesla, Amazon, Under Armour, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Berkshire Hathaway and Costco -- just to name a few.
Stories are memorable. All stories are about people; that's how we as humans interpret information. Data points are fine, but you must translate data into usable knowledge ("How does this affect me?"). When you tell me about your business at a chamber event, for example, describe briefly how you have solved difficult problems for others so I can be confident you can do the same for me.
How do you tell your stories in a way that people will remember you? Here are a few tips:
-- Start easy - first get some simple and descriptive language on your website home page. That's where most people will go to "meet" you. Tell me what you do in language that I can understand.
-- Appeal to both head and heart - the analytical and emotional.
-- It’s not just about business. Maybe your tech company includes a number of people who are highly active in community service, for example. Tell those stories too.
-- Use context. How does your story help me understand why your service or product is better than your competitors'? Why should I want to do business with you?
-- A bit about your history might tell me a lot about your present and future.
Give just enough detail and get to the point quickly.
-- No jargon. Speak plainly. Nothing blocks good story telling like acronyms and industry insider terminology.
And, of course, telling your story effectively is the very best way to into the press. The media love anecdotes. Frame any story idea you pitch to the press with compelling stories, offer to provide 2-3 good expert sources and you will have a much better chance of getting your story into the press.
Every organization has many stories to tell. You just have to dig down a bit and find yours!
By: Robert Deigh of RDC Communications