I’m a media junkie. I grew up devouring the New York Daily News and Morristown Daily Record. And, of course, I read my hometown paper, The Star-Gazette (click that link to see a younger me on the pitch). As my career moved into tech way back before bubble was a word and internet was still spelled with a capital I, I gorged on the trade rags — everything from Inter@ctiveWeek to SD Times.

What I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t the media fix I was after, it was something more intoxicating: the stories.

Never before have stories — and the ability to spin a good one — been more important. Tech trades have seen a decimation the like of which was last seen when dinosaurs saw that fiery rock barreling down on them from outer space. Companies today need to be their own storytellers.

 

new media landscape

 

Good storytellers read. Sure, they keep up with industry news in the trades, but the good ones — the really good ones — spend just as much time reading for pleasure. They have an insatiable appetite for heroes, villains, conflict and opportunities for an author to transport them beyond the page.

Ask your current PR team what they read at night. Listen closely to what they tell you. Are they filling their brain bucket with industry content or are they expanding their storytelling arsenal reading works by authors like Hemingway, King, McCullough, Philbrick, Bryson or Poe?

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