As a part of our TACK10 Sessions, I find myself sitting down with some of the brightest industry minds and discussing topics that are top of mind for marketers and business leaders. Last week I had the distinct please of sitting down with Janine Allen, Senior Vice President, General Manager and Partner at Kaiser Lachance Communications. It was a great experience and Janine really reminded me that PR is really about communicating an authentic story over time and treating specifically targeted engagements as chapters within that story.
Part of the discussion can be found on the CMA’s blog. Today I wanted to focus on the notion that the story is something you write by the way you run a business each and every day. When the exciting chapter of being prepared for the unexpected is ready to be written, the previously written chapters are what really tell the story.
There is one story that really accentuates this notion for me and today I am going to talk a little about it and why it matters. It is not a story about how great one company is versus another, it is about how important the story that we write for our companies is every day. Just like any great story there are some chapters that are better than others, but one thing is for sure, you can always throw in a plot twist if you find yourself writing too many bad chapters.
Let the Story Begin
In 2016 a single Facebook post from a self-proclaimed “blue-collar worker” Brian Fernandez set off viral buzz through social media when he stated he was switching from Heinz ketchup to French’s. What he did was really just share an intro to a story that French’s had been writing for years based on how they operated and what they prioritized but never felt the need to publicize.
You see, French’s cannot be made the hero of that unexpected event if they were not doing great things in the background for the years leading up to this event. Well before Brian Fernandez shared that he was switching brands to support local, French’s had been acting and sourcing locally. From sourcing mustard seed in Saskatchewan, to supporting local farmers and agriculture scholarship programs, it is that commitment to grassroots development that meant when someone shared the intro to their story, they were able to capitalize on others talking about all the previous chapters they had written.
What Does Your Story Look Like?
How often do you take the time to reflect and ask yourself what your organization’s story looks like? If someone shared an introduction to your story, would you love to have other people reading the other chapters of it out loud for everyone to hear?
Every day each of us makes decisions that positively or negatively affect our organizations. Most of these decisions are a balancing act. Balancing short term vs long term goals, profitability vs social impact, etc… It is simple. Resources are finite. That being said, often having a positive social impact for instance does not have to come at the expense of profits but rather might in the long term bolster them.
This does not mean you have to run out and look for accreditations such as becoming a Certified B Corporation. To me it is all about our legacy as a generation. I want my nieces to look at my generation and say that despite all of the challenges and differences in the world, that we handed the reigns over to them in better condition than when we got them. Little changes can have tremendous impact and often these changes are simply a matter or re-positioning how we look at things and using resources differently to achieve the same or stronger results.
The Final Bell
It is important that you take the time to evaluate how your organization would be perceived if its story was read aloud. Every week, I look at what our teams and our partners are doing to move the needle forward in our industries and in our communities in which we operate. Is every chapter a “best-seller”? Of course not! The story-lines however are all extremely positive and I love every new chapter we all write together.
Group President and CEO
Described as a growth agent, James is a modern day game changer known for delivering 10x performance across business, marketing and sales KPIs. As a sought after strategist, James believes and has demonstrated time and again that it is not about growing successful businesses anymore; true success is attained when you challenge and impact an industry as a whole.