Applying Storytelling Techniques to ...


Persuasive language has a say in the success or failure of virtually every job (ventriloquists get a pass).

It doesn’t matter whether you manage a juice bar or lead a Fortune 500 company, the ability to win others over to your point of view matters. The word “others” covers a lot of ground, but let’s zero on job candidates.

If organizations can’t win over job candidates, they’re doomed. Yet, most job descriptions and recruitment ads sound like they came from the same HR textbook penned in the ’70s. Forget differentiation. They’re often stringing together verbs and nouns that would be lucky to earn Cs from Mr. Harper, my English teacher at Catalina High.

The simple act of crafting a job description with conversational language can lift the persuasiveness because job candidates are conditioned to seeing job descriptions in stiff-as-plywood language.

You can see conversational language in action in this job description for a role in our London office that’s currently running on LinkedIn.

Account Director, Senior Account Director, Associate Account Director

It’s tricky to attach a title to this role.

Yes, we’re looking for an individual with eight to 12 years of experience, but this role provides an opportunity to accelerate your career path in a way that’s not possible in a conventional PR agency hierarchy. You see, you’ll be leading our fledgling, but fast-growing London office in Shoreditch as well as helping to shape the direction of our European operation.Hoffman Agency London office buildingOf course, the core skills are what you’d expect, i.e., account management, media relations, new business, etc. But we’re equally interested in certain intangibles that make this role so much more than check-the-box PR:

  • Knows how to navigate ambiguity
  • Global outlook/mentality
  • Collaborative
  • Comfortable figuring things out
  • A networker plugged into the London PR scene
  • Ability to evaluate and attract top talent
  • Strength of conviction
  • Leads by example
  • Creative in both PR and business

Like we said, this isn’t the typical account director role.

It’s worth noting that our work increasingly integrates traditional PR services with owned and even earned media. You don’t need deep expertise in integrated campaigns. You do need the type of intellectual curiosity that makes learning a never-ending process.

One last point —

We believe that levity has a place in the workplace and business; hence, communications like our SlideShare presentation on persuasive language using “Game of Thrones” as a backdrop.

If you know anyone interested in heading up our London office — we’ve got the conversational language covered — please give me a shout.


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