To Borrow from a ...


I wrote a post  over a year ago called “Can Storytelling Differentiate a PR Agency?

With seemingly every communications consultancy touting its storytelling prowess, I questioned whether those who buy communication services perceived storytelling expertise as a commodity. With that said, it seemed fair to say that no PR agency, including The Hoffman Agency, had baked storytelling into its brand.

We’ve been working on changing that. The recent launch of our new website represents the most visible piece yet of our progress. Some would argue that simply redesigning our website so it looks like part of the 21st century would be an improvement. I wouldn’t disagree.

Still, taking our favorite counsel from high school English — “Show, don’t tell” — we’ve strived to do exactly that with our own site.

Our home page rotates multiple images, immediately bringing visual storytelling to the fore. As advocated in previous posts, it’s the harmony of words and visuals that often accentuates the “show” part:

The Hoffman Agency- visual storytelling

If we’re going to call out a section titled “Our Story,” we better get it right. Here’s the core piece of this narrative:

The Hoffman Agency visual storytelling- grid

In this case, we actually borrow from our lesson on “word visuals” to create the visual above.

The section on global campaigns borrows from a real-world example to illustrate the difficulty of collaboration across geographies in the larger PR agencies.

Korea Dialogue- PR agency - storytelling

We’re showing that there can be a fun dimension to business communications without undercutting the serious nature of our work.

Our new website reflects the same storytelling techniques we apply to our client campaigns:

Conversational narratives.




And the list of storytelling techniques goes on.

During an interview years ago I was challenged with the question, “While your blog focuses significantly on storytelling in business, your company’s website,, does not seem to play up storytelling. Is that a fair observation and if so, is there a reason behind not emphasizing storytelling on your agency’s site?”

At the time, I responded:

That’s a fair statement. We’ve debated how much to emphasize our storytelling expertise on the Agency website. The challenge relates to economics. The amount of money that companies allocate to outside storytelling services is a tiny fraction of what’s earmarked for public relations services. In a world where labels often point the way, it’s important that people searching for PR services find their way to our doorstep.

That’s no longer the case.

We believe the intersection of storytelling and PR is so strong that one can’t be extricated from the other.

And we want our website to serve as a tool in qualifying prospective clients who share our point of view.

Mission accomplished.

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