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Storytelling at a Massive Scale


Telling an early-stage startup story is fairly easy… Co-founders Jane and John Smith raised $20 million for their AI-powered application that does X, Y, and Z. They employ a team of 50, have 1,000 customers, and have earned more than $2 million in revenue to date. You get the point — there’s a template of sorts for […]

How to Be a PR Hero According to a Journalist

PR best practices

Last week was an interesting PR convergence of sorts for me. I emerged from the boiler room with AirPR’s CEO, our lead investor, and some of the top marketing and PR minds on the planet with what I’m sure will be the next big thing in navigating our story-driven world. (Stay tuned. It’s going to be a fun ride.) […]

Storytelling: Why It’ll Always Be Important


In regard to storytelling, English author Henry Green said, “The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.” This is true in writing and public relations; We have many stories to tell about our companies at any given time, but it’s in the selection and refinement of key stories (including what we […]

5 sites that will sharpen your storytelling skills

One of the many hats a PR Engineer wears is that of storytelling. But between juggling data, gathering insights, managing relationships, and more, how are busy PR pros supposed to find time to stay both inspired and up to date on the latest and greatest in industry trends that inform compelling storytelling? Let me make this […]

PART 2: Big Data 101 for PR

We know, we know…sequels so rarely live up to the hype of originals, but I can assure you this part duex is guaranteed to deliver as much punch and pizzazz as what came before. A few weeks ago my colleague and engineering partner-in-crime, Frank Jing, knocked it out of the park with his succinct and […]

5 Reasons To Embrace Video Content Now

In the past decade, perhaps the biggest shift in Internet technology has been the rise of video content. From commercially produced material to the explosion of self-directed content via smartphones, video is everywhere. “People spend more time on digital video (one hour 55 minutes) than social media (one hour 44 minutes) per day, and 68 […]

PART 1: Big Data 101 for PR

I’m not sure when it began, but it seems that “Big Data” is becoming THE catch phrase in every business meeting. The emphasis of each Big Data conversation may be different: it may be making sure no data is lost, or the privacy and security concerns of using the cloud, or the automation of analytical […]

Bridging PR and Sales Through Storytelling

When it comes to influential forces, there are few as powerful as storytelling. While many equate storytelling with entertainment (e.g. movies, television, novels, etc.), the concept of compelling storytelling is now front and center in nearly every business conversation. In fact, it was a major theme during this year’s GrowthBeat conference. The business of storytelling […]

Subtle Shots of Storytelling

I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling and the strength of tiny tales. Small stories are kind of like taking a shot of [insert your preferred booze type here]. It may be little, but man can it pack a punch!

In business, we tend to turn our attention to BIG stories: product launches, rebranding strategies, funding announcements. But what about all the other opportunities we have to communicate our narrative that go unsung?

If every touch point is an opportunity to tell our story, why should conventional components lack the creativity and character that go into product launches? Take this rock star example from Kentucky-based design and branding firm, Cornett.

Continue reading…

How to use “breadcrumbs” to tell a better story

Here in Silicon Valley it’s easy to get caught up in the tech-hype-vortex-bubble. This 4 sided beast includes everything from ad nauseum discussions about pedigree and educational background to a belief system which often rewards high potential above high performance.

Throw in a media environment which reinforces these messages, and what we are left with is a somewhat obsessive compulsive tendency to fixate on publications that offer us a stamp of approval but do little in terms of reaching our core audience, or customer for that matter.

In other words…

Is TechCrunch really the right outlet to announce your launch? Or would you be better off seeding the story to five influential bloggers on various niche outlets to get the buzz going about your brand?

The truth is, as an emerging startup, sometimes tech or business press won’t be interested in your story until you have <insert random number> of customers, <insert random $ number> in sales, or <insert sexy name> as your co-founder.

Blech. Blah. And often frustrating.

The other truth? As ego-fulfilling and investor-placating as those outlets may be, they may not be your best bet in terms of getting in front of actual paying, engaged customers. Furthermore, conversations – real conversations – don’t necessarily happen on outlets whose existence is to break news and report on fast moving trends.

As a former reporter for VentureBeat, Chikodi Chima knows a thing or two about this client-PR-media conundrum, and he has some interesting insights into a concept he calls “breadcrumbs.”

Read on. And start telling better stories to those who matter most.

Using Breadcrumbs to Tell Better Stories

By: Chikodi Chima, Founder of Moonshot

We live in an attention economy where getting a slice of someone’s attention is a precious resource. The right media exposure can flood you with new customers, help your startup close an investment round, or nab a cofounder coveted invites to speak at conferences.

But with so much riding on a good story, everyone who isn’t Apple, Google or Facebook competes for scraps of top-tier media attention. And while an above-the-fold writeup that hits Techmeme can do wonders, chasing “vanity media” can be a huge drain on resources. At VentureBeat I wrote three stories per week that came from pitches. Furthermore, early adopters and gadget junkies may read every shred of news in the tech press, but how many of them become customers? Not enough.

Stop sweating the tech press and use breadcrumbs to get your message directly to the people who need it most.

What are breadcrumbs?  Continue reading…