16 Jun PR And The Power of Story
Let me tell you a story…. That got you didn’t it? Everybody loves a story. We’re spoon fed them as soon as we enter this world. It starts with Humpty Dumpty and the Ugly Duckling and continues until we draw our last breath.
When we say ‘What’s the goss?’ or ‘Let’s chew the cud’ or ‘Fancy a catch up?’ what we’re really saying is ‘Tell me a story’ and that’s my first piece of advice to clients when it comes to PR.
You’re a builder, I know you lay bricks, dig foundations and might be nifty with a cement mixer, but tell me a story…PLEASE!
Confused, well listen to this. Something rather brilliant happened this morning at my networking group in Kingston-Upon-Thames, which is called Business Over Breakfast or BoB for short and features a delicious fry-up among other things.
At the start of our meeting, a visitor to the group stood up and told us that his name was Alan Orchard and he was an accountant. He looked like an accountant – not that that’s a bad thing. Dressed in shirt and tie, bespectacled and greying at the temples, Alan, in my view, was your typical Mister spreadsheet. He said some stuff about HMRC and taxes and really we’d heard it all before – apart from the bit where he revealed that he’d recently saved a company £600,000. That went down as well as the bacon.
A bit later, a BoB member called Max Stephens stood up to tell us about his Body Transformation Coaching business. Max is not your usual personal trainer. There’s nothing in-your-face about him. He’s softly spoken and rather shy. He’s also a bit ripped and eats more than anyone else at BoB – that’s the power of exercise for you.
Max explained that he’d been working with Alan who was going to tell us his story. Alan then stood up and revealed that he’d noticed he was getting a bit out of puff whilst working on the garden.
He’d met Max and decided to sign up to his Body Transformation programme, which sounded pretty full on. It’s not just an eat well and work out type of thing. Max analyses DNA, does food intolerance tests and all sorts of scientific things to ascertain the best approach for each client.
Alan was not a sporty type. He told us how he’d hide in the woods during cross-country at school. He was nervous about going to the gym and being the lone accountant in amongst the beefcake.
His fears were unfounded. It was tough at first, but Alan started to enjoy working out. He got a buzz from it. He started to look different and he liked it.
Then came the before and after shots – Alan to be frank, had been verging on the lardy and he looked pretty buff in the after shots. The best bit, was a shot of Alan in a tight fitting black T shirt, reclining slightly with a half-smile, giving George Clooney a run for his money. He’d shed three stone over the course of 16 weeks. He’d lost six inches from his belly and five from his chest. He was a new man. A number cruncher with more va va voom than an F1 rally.
As you can guess, you could hear a pin drop. Alan was our new hero. And so was Max. And what he’d cleverly done, was sold us his business with a story. A bloody brilliant one.
I think Alan and Max should have their own You Tube channel. Hell, somebody get them a TV show. Move over Jessie Pavelka, there’s a new kid on the block.
That’s what you’ve gotta do folks. Get people interested in your business by telling them a story. It could be about you. It could be about one of your customers. It needs to feature real people, a soupcon of drama and a surprising twist or two. They say that everybody has a book in them, but that’s a tall order as a book takes a long time to write, but a story – we can all tell one of those. So, what’s yours?
Want to transform your body? You can contact Max on email@example.com or visit his website which is over at www.maxstephens.com He is in the Surrey/SW London area.