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So many ways to tell a business story

 

 

Maybe you invented something. Or developed an algorithm that changes your industry. Perhaps you just happen to be pretty talented at hiring the right people who do great work. Or your company bought another company and, per strategy, 1 + 1 = 3.

 

You can develop an elevator pitch about it, which is actually a good starting point for business storytelling. But unless you have time to hang out on a lot of elevators, you might expand on how that story gets told:

 

Blog it – Blogs are more than places to state a position or show how much you know about something. Properly engineered (through search engine optimization), your blog can draw traffic to your websites. Good blogs get cited by and linked to by others. That’s why I have my own blog.

 

Byline an article for a trade or professional magazine or LinkedIn – Provide some insight on a business topic; chances are there is a magazine or website that would publish it. 

 

Report it – Present your case with graphs, charts, arguments and a solid narrative. Whether it’s a corporate social responsibility report, a white paper, the narrative copy in the annual financial report or something else, it has to be well conceived and smartly presented.

 

Issue it to the press – Heaven and earth shall pass away but media relations will endure. OK, perhaps that's an exaggeration. But while the digital communications era has upended quite a bit, a well-crafted press release is still an important way to get your story out. What I learned in journalism school about the five Ws – who, what, when, where, why (and how) – is still what people and journalists want to know.

 

Create a niche news website – Perhaps the mission of your enterprise revolves around a problem, as is the case with my client that hosts Pothole.info. By supplying a stream of information around a problem, looking at it from all angles, it’s possible to build a database and generate third party media coverage.

 

Write a book – Yes, that’s right, an entire book. I’ve written a few: my own book on nutrition , on restaurant marketing and about the 100-year history of Prevent Blindness America, a leading non-profit.

 

Organizational histories don’t always have to read like an encyclopedia. For Prevent Blindness America’s centennial anniversary, we placed the history of eyesight loss into the broader context of national and world events that affected vision, medicine and the organization itself.

 

Tweet it – Any use of social media helps make or maintain connections. It also drives traffic to websites. The 140-character limitation is a communications challenge that the primary writer can help overcome.

 

If you don’t know which tactics are right for your enterprise, call me. I love the strategic communications development process.

 

More than the words: Indeed, content IS king to search engines. And the most successful digital marketing programs also employ SEO strategies and tactics to win higher search engine rankings. But at its core, quality content delivered on an ongoing and consistent basis wins the day. For more on this, see: https://www.openforum.com/articles/why-quality-content-is-king/

PR vs. Content?: To some, web content is subordinate to public relations while others look to PR as a support mechanism to the digital marketing program. Either way, the messages need to be clear and consistent. Check this article for ideas on how that happens.

The lines between news and promotion are getting blurrier by the day. Pre-Internet, media companies pretty much determined what information got out, when and to whom. Today, anyone and anything can engineer the release of information -- be it true, false, pretty or ugly (and sometimes incendiary). In other words, it's a time of great opportunity and grievous reputation peril. The best defense is a good offense, developing and distributing the information that your constituencies have every right to know.

Russ Klettke

Business Writer