Da Art of Storytellin’

Not many would argue that publicists/PR types/communications professionals are all about storytelling: weaving together the right angles, sound-bites and talking points to advance their agenda in the media and influence spheres of their choosing.

What many people don’t realize is that the to be effective, these professionals often have to tell a parallel internal story as a precursor to telling that external story. For example, consider the inside sale that has to happen when a bunch of….

  • Harvard PhDs want to start a dating site and need “a marketing person.” That marketing person – likely intrinsically far more fun than the algorithm-coding founders – has to somehow *convey* fun to them in order to bring it to the rest of the world.
  • Enterprise software boys who never use half the social media tools themselves suddenly learn that there’s money in “being social” and want to talk that up.

The marketer must translate the levity of dating to geeks….and the organic, peer-to-peer elements of social to hierarchical, conventional thinkers, in order to bring the message back to ROW. This isn’t simply telling the external story to them first for approval. It’s repackaging it into what matters to them: convincing the geeks that your message leads to quantifiable things like user acquisition, and convincing the enterprise dudes that your messages will lead to cash.

So next time you see a really good message, remember: there were probably some other stories that had to happen first.