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The Story Is Always ...

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This headline serves as our mantra for 2019.

Every company, even those who fancy “math is fun” buttons, has something interesting to share with the outside world. But these stories rarely sit on a desk with a label that reads “good story with killer anecdote inside.” Instead, it’s up to us as communicators to poke and probe the right resources and conduct research to find content for business storytelling.

It’s not easy.

It takes curiosity, persistence and dot-connecting logic. And sometimes a leap of faith that the story is there.

We’re not calling this a theme or a branding campaign because such words short change the value of knowing how to go from point A to point B to point C, which ultimately gets you to Point D where the good stuff resides. This is a core skill and one often undervalued by the communications function which emphasizes training on areas like media relations, writing and the power of storytelling.

We’re hoping to bring attention to the digging in our profession.

As part of this effort, we created a SlideShare deck that offers guidance for finding the good stuff and hopefully a touch of inspiration.

When we say, “The story is always there,” we don’t really mean story bv the conventional definition — a narrative with a start, an end and something going horrible wrong in between. Instead, we’re really saying, “Interesting stuff is always there.”

One of my favorite examples of “interesting stuff” comes from when we supported National Semiconductor on a campaign for a new semiconductor. One of the target applications was keyless locks for cars. Apparently, the bad guys were intercepting the signal from keyless locks so when the car owner left, the thief would replay the recorded signal to break into the car. National’s new chip prevented this.

Our approach was to talk to insurance companies, which in turn put us in touch with an auto museum and its exhibit on the history of auto security devices. It turned out that one of the earliest theft-prevention devices for cars was a blow-up man that one would place in the driver’s seat so potential thieves perceived the car was occupied.

We got a lot of mileage out of that anecdote.


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