In 2016 Annual Conference, Professional Development, Tampa Bay Chapter

Blogger: Brittany Jackson (Tampa Bay Chapter)

Become the Storytelling Hero: Literally!
Presented by: Lisa Gerber, Founder and President, Big Leap Creative Integrated Communications 

When session presenter Lisa Gerber’s dog, usually a playful pooch, couldn’t even lay down due to problems with canine hip dysplasia, she did what any loving pet owner would do — she Googled a solution. The first hit was a story published in a Seattle newspaper more than a decade ago. It was about a man whose dog had a similar ailment and the great lengths he went to ensure his pup received the best care.
Inspired by the story, Lisa took her dog to the same vet hospital mentioned in the article. After a minimally invasive surgery, Jackson was as good as new.

The moral? Stories done the right way generate awareness, influence action and have a significant impact.

Lisa gives these key tips to master the art of storytelling:

  • Get the protagonist right. We’re often tempted to tout our organization’s accomplishments in our PR or marketing materials, but Lisa’s advice is to put yourself in the mind of your target audience. Don’t always make yourself the hero, but focus on your consumer.
  • Remember, these are real people with real problems. When telling your story,  speak directly to the problem. Your target audience will not always seek out your organization, but they will always search for solutions to their problems.
  • Have a happy ending. There are no mysteries in brand stories. Be sure to let your readers know up front how you can help them.
  • Provide context. This gives your readers a richer experience and helps them make corrections.
  • Create emotional impact.  This doesn’t mean your copy has to tug at heartstrings. But, it does mean that your voice and tone should be clear and authentic. Don’t write what you wouldn’t say in person.
  • Get others to tell your story. Repurpose your online reviews into downloadable case studies and use hashtags to encourage your audience to share their experiences in their own words.
  • Walk the talk. The best stories fall flat if a consumer’s overall experiences don’t support it.

For more info, follow Lisa on Twitter @lisagerber and check out her blog at

GerberLisa Gerber is the founder of Big Leap Creative Integrated Communications, an agency focused on helping companies reach their business goals by providing content strategy and execution. She is a speaker, blogger and mountain girl with more than 15 years of PR experience in urban and resort development, financial services and the destination and outdoor industry.


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