The story is always there.

What does a shovel have to do with storytelling from a PR consultancy?


Many of our clients come from the B2B tech world where hearts race from inventing a way to increase the spin-torque efficiency of a memory device. While these types of stories hold great importance to the people who use a given technology, they typically aren’t going to resonate with journalists from business publications and other mainstream media.

That’s where the shovel comes in.

We believe the story is always there.

Yet, these stories rarely arrive on a silver platter for all to see. Instead, the process for finding these narratives can be akin to an excavation, requiring digging and digging and sometimes more digging. The typical public relations agency undervalues the expertise that goes into this form of discovery, the interviewing techniques, research, dot-connecting logic and that scientific quality called persistence.

In contrast, we’ve developed a training curriculum and methodology that specifically guide our account teams in the discovery process.

It’s not easy. Often, you go from Point A to Point B to Point C, which ultimately gets you to Point D where the good stuff resides.

This slide deck walks you through our mentality and approach to finding client stories that drive our communications campaigns.

A Different Approach to PR Storytelling

When we say, “The story is always there,” we don’t really mean story by the conventional definition — a narrative with a start, an end and something going horribly wrong in between.

We recognize that clients aren’t enthused to step to the podium and share the things that didn’t go according to plan.

Instead, we’re really saying, “Interesting stuff is always there.”

A great example 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.

Of course, this wonderful anecdote didn’t arrive prepackaged and ready for communications to the outside world.

Right. We needed to dig it out.

Drop us a line, and we can discuss digging up anecdotes for your company & industry.

Lou Hoffman, MD, North America
Mark Pinsent, MD, Europe
Caroline Hsu, MD, Asia Pacific