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The Power Of Storytelling

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Today’s consumers are an extremely connected, discerning bunch, and engaging with them requires a thoughtful approach to communication. Reaching them goes beyond pitching your product or service, even if you think they’ll love it. It’s about effectively tapping into their values and lifestyle and finding a way to connect on a more personal level. But, how do you get them to care and ultimately choose to invest their time and money in you? One secret is an age-old method, but it’s a powerful one: it’s the art of storytelling.

Storytelling is intrinsic to every culture. From creation myths to legends and folk tale, it’s at the core of what makes us humans and how we relate to each other and the rest of the world. It works in PR and marketing because it allows us to connect with our audiences and take them on a journey; one that stimulates feelings, ideas, and attitudes consistent with our marketing goals. The word “storytelling” can sometimes get bad rep, especially when associated with the PR profession and our reputation to put a “spin” on things. But storytelling can be genuine, authentic and most importantly, effective, when it comes to empowering a brand and forging more meaningful relationships with their audience. The human brain is hardwired to remember stories, not to recall facts or data.

First, let’s elaborate on why it’s vital for a brand to have a story. It breathes life into what might otherwise may be considered a cold corporation solely interested in the bottom line. People connect with other people and storytelling allows you to sell a brand, rather than a product. Successful brands are subtler when it comes to promotions and are more focused on being part of a bigger conversation, because today’s consumers expect more from the companies they support. Both the public and the media love a good story, and want to align with brands that are authentic and transparent. They want to know about the real people behind a brand and the causes they’re committed to. Storytelling is about entertaining, educating and engaging with an audience to build that emotional connection that can lead to earning a customer’s loyalty.

The first step is identifying your story. What do you want to be known for? How will you stand out? And, why should people care? This is where public relations plays a key role. One responsibility of public relations is to uncover a story that a brand’s audience will care about. Most of the time, a business already has a fantastic brand narrative, heartwarming anecdotes or a rich history that lends itself perfectly to the story. But often, the team is too close to the brand and doesn’t recognize the value in sharing. Bringing in a professional storyteller, like myself and my team of brand strategists and creative copywriters, provides an unbiased perspective and the know-how to tell that story in the most effective and lasting way possible. Storytelling is at the core of public relations, as we seek to influence reputations, perceptions and behaviors. To meaningfully relate to journalists and your target audience, we need to tell compelling stories. We are expert wordsmiths, developing an authentic voice that speaks louder than what many today see as “canned” advertising. Simply announcing a product launch isn’t effective anymore. The news needs to be in the context of something bigger to convince whomever we’re talking to that our announcement affects them and they should care. And a truly good PR team knows how to get the most mileage out of your story, and continue to build upon momentum gained; it’s not a one and done deal, we make your story work for you!

Storytelling is not cookie cutter. A good story could start with an interesting origin that traces back to humbler beginnings, or shine a light on a company’s unique culture. It could also be as simple as expanding on a fun fact, such as an ice cream chain with its highest performing location in Alaska. However, some of the most impactful stories are purpose-driven. Research has shown time and again that when a consumer feels good, it translates to more sales at the register, even if they must pay a premium. It gives them another reason to choose you over the other “good enough” options, even if you’re the more expensive choice.

For example, we worked with an iconic fast food chain with a rich history and its largest share of customer made up of baby boomers. It was time to appeal to their next generation of guests. We worked closely with the team on a for-cause marketing campaign designed to support the brand’s desire to give back while making an impression amongst a younger crowd. A cross country RV tour to help feed and clothe the homeless, enlisting the help of high school-aged volunteers? It was the complete package, and to think they almost didn’t talk about it!   

Not only did it have that feel-good aspect, but it was visually compelling which was perfect for reaching a digitally-driven consumer. In a world bombarded with information, the saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, has never rung truer. We weren’t shouting why the brand was better or shoving promotions down throats. Rather, we offered a platform for the students involved and the homeless community to share their thoughts and stories, which always came back to our client in the most organic way. The media was especially receptive to the message and it was a story they wanted to share. For those touched by the campaign, the brand would now be remembered for being more than a fast food chain. It’s a brand that cares about the communities it serves, and that is a major differentiator.

Your story is what sets you apart from your competitors, but a story is only truly good if it is heard. As media strategists, we understand how, where and when to tell the story and who to tell it to. PR professionals also help connect the dots so that your narrative complements your overall brand messaging. Of course, we understand that storytelling is a means to support bigger sales and marketing initiatives.

Today, storytelling is not only an essential part of your brand identity, it helps your customers feel connected and closer to your company. In a time when millennials are calling the shots and their passion lies within brands that stand apart from the rest, it’s imperative now more than ever to have your story be told. The fact is, everyone has a story to tell.  The companies that do it well often succeed and, more often than not, they have a professional storyteller assisting them. So, what’s your story?

Kristin Daher

Kristin Daher is the president and chief storyteller of Powerhouse Communications, An Ideas Agency™ offering a wide range of public relations, brand strategy and social media services. Specializing in the foodservice, hospitality and franchise industries, Powerhouse has represented clients including Del Taco, Pieology Pizzeria, Panda Express, Wienerschnitzel, and Juice It Up!, handling their franchise, consumer, social media, and corporate PR.

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How To Attract Millennials To Your City

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Location matters in the means of professional success. Millennials are reported to be getting married and starting families later than their parents. This means that their main focus is strictly on their professional career, so these matters are taken seriously, as they involve these factors into determining where to live. Millennials select cities that will help them thrive. This goes vice versa, cities need to attract people in order to be sustainable. The city of Camden has been successful with this process. With the increase of millennial entrepreneurs entering the city, the better the economy gets, as it is shown around the waterfront.

To create more jobs and attraction, cities must attract the job-seeking millennials. There are 3 determinants for millennials to move into your city:

Affordability

Someone who is financially responsible will always consider the cost of living foremost. Cities that contain a high population of millennials often have low employment rates and affordability. If the city is popular but does not meet within millennial’s budget, then it wouldn’t be worth the cost. Money is the only physical asset that holds us restricted. The city of Camden holds that title of affordability. Tax cuts are what attracts entrepreneurs mainly, however the overall value of the stay is well worth it. Camden is located outside of Philadelphia, just close enough to go into their city to network without paying Philadelphia’s cost of living.

Entrepreneurship

Millennials are an ambitious generation. A reporting claimed that 54% have either wanted to start a business or have started one already. This characterized millennials as hard-working and motivated individuals. A location that showcases trails of entrepreneurship deliver a desirable reality to people. Silicon Valley embodies this example, as it is the most known startup hub for technology companies in America. Famous companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google are in that area, so the status of Silicon Valley is held at a high standard.

Another location that is maintaining that status is Camden. Due to Camden’s location outside of Philadelphia and surrounding fortune 500 companies, millennial entrepreneurs are inspired to bring their startup here. There are multiple different types of organizations located here with 76ers as one.

Accessibility

Millennials are attracted to cities that cater to their needs. About 66% of Millennials identified  decent quality transportation as a main influence to choosing a location to live. People typically pick the option that meets their social needs. To obtain that, a low cost transit is ideally looked for in a city. Cities with an ineffective quality transit fail to attract Millennials. 

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How Millennials Are Changing The Workplace

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Millennials are reshaping the traditional corporate structure. With new CEOs entering the workforce, more companies have been adapting new tactics for managing, motivating, and improving. Millennial entrepreneurs have set the new standards to doing business, focusing on collaboration and efficiency. Soon by 2025, millennials will accommodate 75% of the workforce. This will replace the baby boomers, who have been recorded as the largest generation in the workforce. This instant switch leaves other generations questioning their management. These are 4 ways millennials are changing the workplace:

Emphasizing Technology

Millennials are the generation born after year 1982 and before 2004. This was essentially the era of technology beginnings. To be raised in the ever changing state of development, this generation foresees big things for the digital future. This need for rapid growth has created various platforms for creators, entrepreneurs, and more. Millennials have a profound belief that technology is the future, and so we should precisely use it to our advantage. Networking has been perfected with Linkedin, while Youtube is colonized by content creators, and Slack has better connected employees.

Open To Change

Millennials were born to alternate between innovation and tradition. To be raised in the era of constant development, generation Y has cultivated the skill to be open to change. Arguably, change is intended for growth, so that is how Millennials greet it. The digital age has disrupted traditional systems for the better, a concept that was impossible in the past. Due to the inconsistency they’ve experienced growing up, millennials have subdue their harsh conditions by advocating innovation. Although innovation is a new idea, generation Y strictly believes this is an optimal lifestyle.

This generation does not believe in a constant, that everything has potential. Camden embodies that figure of high potential. Organizations are racing into the city of Camden, for it is the next startup hub for Millennial entrepreneurs. With the economy’s rapid growth and welcoming nature, businesses are rushing in to secure their space. Just outside of Philadelphia, the city of Camden possess hope, just what entrepreneurs need.

Work With Purpose

Millennials differ from baby boomers in one drastic motive. The new generation seek a sense of control and innovation that past generations seem to lack. Millennials deeply value purpose, to even go the extra mile in changing jobs for content. Perhaps it’s due to their entitlement, but Millennials are stubborn to the belief of following your inclination. 60% of employees confess that it is critical to allow them the capacity to do what they do best. Many Millennials will settle in the lower paying job, as long as it allows them the ability to express their talents.

As observed in the city of Camden, non-profit organizations scatter throughout in order to rebuild the city of hope. Devoted organizations and passionate millennial entrepreneurs in the city are growing and giving back to the community.

Work Flexibility

The typical 9-5 business hour job is declining as Millennials continue to enter the workforce. The Census Bureau estimated that 13.4 million Americans work from home. The data will only increase when more Millennials start to work. This new career outlook stems from the disfavored opinion against office confinement. In the strong devotion for both work and freedom, Millennials compromised with the issue by creating careers from the comfort of their own home. Freelance work has been the popular option for Millennials, since it allows independency.  

 

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Holiday 2017 Gift Guide for Stocking Stuffers

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2017 gift guide

Stockings are a traditional ornament to Christmas, but the stuffings inside are what makes it jolly. Stocking stuffers redefine gift giving, that neither size or price matters in the premise of giving a present. These miniature gifts give entrepreneurs the advantage to pick up gifts last minute. The standards for stocking stuffers are to simply be small and compact, but that shouldn’t reflect on the quality of the gift. When entrepreneurs want to impress their receivers, these are the gifts to provide for them in the 2017 Gift Guide:

Vanacci

2017 gift guide

 

The Vanacci lockstone bracelet is the bracelet that I have been waiting for. I have been using the Vanacci bracelet for about a month now and I haven’t taken it off since. Not only is there quality fantastic, there is the added benefit of the my unique scent/cologne will follow me around throughout the day.

Like most men, I did not follow the original directions of spraying the bracelet and letting it sit. I sprayed directly on the arm, and rarely have to reapply. My personal band is black and goes with just about anything. This is a great gift for the fashionable male.

Moment Lenses

2017 gift guide

The size and quality of Moment Lenses are impressive. The detail on each glasses are built professionally, while the weight of the lens are kept at a decent size. These attractive lenses are perfect for either starters or professionals in photography, since the product is easy to navigate through. The lenses offered are in the shape of a Wide 18mm lens, or a Macro 25mm lens, and also includes a 170 degree Superfish field of vision lens. Moment Lenses now have a battery case as well, that is also equipped with its new mounting system. They now offer external shutter buttons, travel cases, and other accessories all on their website. With finally an attached via a mounting clip(these new lenses twist 180 degrees). The perfect gift for self-proclaimed photographers from the 2017 Gift Guide.

Nomad’s Leather Charging Wallet

2017 holiday gift guide

Nomad brings the perfect combo to solving iPhone’s battery problem and wallet situation. The wallet contains a thin lithium-ion battery that holds a 2400 mAh charge in their built in cable. Mobile users are saved from a sudden battery shortage with this unique product. The idea of applying a charger within a wallet stems from the belief that we will always have our wallets with us. Now, with a charger embedded into our wallets, you can charge your phone whenever or wherever. Displayed in brown, the advanced SoC (system on chip) microprocessor additionally enable the battery to fully charge your mobile device. A first choice gift to a loved one from the 2017 Gift Guide. 

Upright Go

2017 gift guide

The device that is about 4.25’ long, 1.5’ wide, and 1’ thick, Upright Go is the perfect gift for people who slouch. The product is made of silicone rubber material and can be used up to 10 days on a single charge. Upright is also connected to your iOS or Android smartphone app, with individual training plan for gradual change. The strict reinforcements in Upright’s gentle vibration delivers a cue to help you remember to sit up. The method is taken from B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory, that is effectively used in Upright technology today. The obvious gift to offer in the 2017 Gift Guide. 

Anker SoundBuds Curve Bluetooth Headphones

2017 gift guide

Anker headphones are the perfect fit for athletes. The headphones have an earhook with a waterproof nano coating for complete comfort, this also includes a gym and running workout headset with pouch. Athletes can continue their rigorous workouts with Anker headphones on due to their lightweight condition. The product itself is durable with a strong connection to devices up to 30 feet. Their most special quality is within their CVC noise cancellation feature that runs on 12.5 hours of battery. Although Anker’s bluetooth headphones have amazing qualities, a headphone can’t be rated without mentioning their sound. With that, Anker provides a quality sound with it’s ample bass, that will allow users to really capture a feel for their music. 

Anker PowerLine + Lightning Cable with Pouch

2017 gift guide

The charging cable for many apple products, including the new iPhone X to the iPod touch. The product is named the lightning cable simply due to their fast speed charge, due to their wide diameter wires and minimized cord resistance. Like many of Anker’s products, the lightning cable is durable. The cable is 5x more durable than other original products also. The product’s performance remained constant, no matter how many times the cable has been bent. The 3ft toughest and fastest cable product comes in black, grey, white, red, and blue. 

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

2017 gift guide

The Anker powercore ultra-compact 10000mAh portable charger is designed to be smaller than a candy bar. Their unique cut ridged-surface brings a new experience to users, allowing a precise grip to the charger. The surface is also intended to avoid smudges so the product is looking presentable always. This includes an output temperature control, high voltage protection, current regulation, and more. Their most distinctive feature is within their 8-light led sensor to detect the power percentage on the charger. One of Anker’s most unique product and a good choice for the 2017 Gift Guide.

Mikol Marble Notebook

2017 gift guide

For writers, sketch artists, or simply anyone, Mikol provides an attractive notebook for a gift. The Mikol notebooks offer a Carrara white and the Nero Marquina style, made of 100% real natural stone from Spain. With this, their brand name is engraved in gold on the front. This can be altered by an additional $25 for a word of your choice engraved below. The notebook contains 180 pages of cream colored paper, while each section is divided up by a variety of different types of styles. One section of the notebook provided lined pages, the next a grid, and the last section, blank pages. A quality notebook for all types of talents.

Sudio AB

2017 gift guide

Headphones are an essential asset due to the digital age, Sudio AB are as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical. The wireless headphones are lightweight, easy to use, and are perfect for entrepreneurs who desire functionally and beautifully designed products. Tres headphones are ideally for office use, with the 9-hour battery life and quick charge capability. The packaging is simplistic and mirrors Apple’s minimal designs. The headphones themselves come in neutral colors with an accent of black, gold, or rose gold that appears more like pink in person. Different size ear comforters allow fit for a variety of users, although long term wear can leave the ear a bit sore.

 

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