Storytelling is a hot topic in communication circles. Posts and articles abound that hype the magic of storytelling in marketing and PR, why the human brain craves stories, why brands need underlying stories and employees need corporate narratives. PR service companies are promoting storytelling while PR media outlets inform us we have it all wrong, that it’s storytelling techniques that matter, not telling an entire story. We learn about critical narrative elements while internal communication pundits insist we need to focus on journalistic storytelling.
In this month’s Circle of Fellows episode, FIR host Shel Holtz joins four of his IABC Fellow colleagues — James Lukaszewski, Barbara Puffer, Jim Shaffer, and Jennifer Wah — to explore why storytelling beats a rational explanation any time, how to tease stories out of other people, why leaders need to tell stories, which models make sense, how to spread stories through an organization, and a variety of other storytelling-related topics.
About the panel
James E. Lukaszewski, America’s Crisis Guru ®, is a bestselling author, national speaker, and trusted strategic advisor to FPO and NPO business operators and leaders during crises, disasters, reputation attacks, contentiousness and when the boss’s future is at stake. Corporate Legal Times listed him as “one of 22 crisis counselors to have in your speed dial when all hell breaks loose.” For more than 30 years, he has confidentially guided hundreds of company leaders thru tough, touchy, sensitive situations. Lukaszewski’s strategies inspire constructive, ethical problem resolving management behavior. A powerful and inspirational speaker, he teaches executives and managers the lessons he has learned. A prolific author, he is quoted and interviewed often as one of the most recognizable leaders in his profession. Lukaszewski is on the web at www.e911.com.
Barbara Puffer owns Puffer Public Relations Strategies, where she has served clients for nearly 20 years. Previously, she was Corporate Communications Manager at Barnes Group for 13 years; her communications management career spans 40 years, including work in banking, insurance, and telecommunications organizations. She has been an Associate Professor teaching communication studies at the University of Maryland University College since 2002.
Jim Shaffer is a business advisor, leadership coach, author, speaker. As leader of the Jim Shaffer Group, he helps organizations accelerate results through superior strategy execution. The Jim Shaffer Group creates hard business results by translating the business strategy to the people who need to implement it, aligning systems, processes, and culture to make the gains sustainable.
Jennifer Wah, MC, ABC, has worked with clients to deliver ideas, plans, words and results since she founded her storytelling and communications firm, Forwords Communication Inc., in 1997. The company operates as a strategic alliance of hand-picked professionals; all renowned for work in their areas of specialization. This approach means the right team is assembled for each project; no more, no less. With more than two dozen awards for strategic communications, writing and consulting, Jennifer is recognized as a storyteller and strategist. She has worked in industries from healthcare to financial services to academia, and is passionate about the opportunity for stories to inspire actions and reactions within organizations.In 2013, Jennifer was named Associate Faculty of Royal Roads University, and in this capacity, continues to teach, coach and mentor others with an interest in business communication.