By Kim Mosher
At this past Thursday’s Building Our Future event, 250 business people gathered to hear the enigmatic Adman and CBC radio host Terry O’Reilly speak about the power of storytelling. A perfect topic as Terry lives and breathes powerful storytelling, and he’s got the successful advertising career to prove it.
In preparation for the event, it was no secret around the Partnership office that I was (more than) excited to see a favourite author of mine speak, and hearing him in person was fantastic.
Stories Add Value and Meaning to a Brand
Terry spoke about the importance of creating a captivating story to talk about a brand, as “stories add value and meaning. If you're not telling stories, you're missing out on creating enormous value in your marketing".
And, when stories are told well, they are re-told and shared by others, reinforcing the message and reaching a wider audience. In fact, great stories “let you boast about your company without ever boasting about your company," said Terry.
Every Business has a Story to Tell
How can storytelling impact your own business? Well, every business has a story, or multiple stories, to tell. Look around and take note: they might be lurking in unlikely places, as “every business has stories hidden in their walls – genuine, real stories,” said Terry. Often times, businesses are pretty good at telling their story to external audiences, but it’s important to remember your internal audience – employees. They too need to hear the stories and internalize them as their own.
I think that everyone who attended walked away with some salient points that can be applied to their own businesses and enjoyed the enthralling advertising stories that Terry shared. Several brand stories were part of his presentation, including the well-known “I love NY” campaign that was born more than 30 years ago to promote Broadway (something that the wider audience today probably isn’t aware of). It was so powerful that it stuck, and because people could make it their own – think of the iconic image associated with New York – it became legend.
As Terry said, “A powerful story can enthral the mind, nestle into someone's heart and be told over and over again”.
For more information on Terry O’Reilly, please visit his website.
Author: Kimberley Mosher
Kimberley Mosher is the Partnership's Internet and Marketing Specialist. Kimberley has a background in marketing strategy and business consulting and specializes in planning, implementing and managing marketing campaigns.