Matter Chatter

Stories Matter

I tell stories for a living.

Sometimes it’s a happy story. A strong year for a client or a cool new product that consumers will love.

Sometimes it’s a teaching story. One that explains how a thing works or why we should care about a new trend.

It’s rare — luckily — that we have to explain an unhappy story about our clients. But sometimes we tell those stories, too.

I used to tell stories as a reporter for the Associated Press and Boston Globe. Sometimes I wrote “evergreen” stories like the one about a landmark that lights up the sky, one blue and red flash at a time. Other times I wrote with a conspiratorial tone, like the one about the hidden “eyes” that follow your every move.

In daily PR life as we race to keep up with busy clients, breaking news and the reporters we work with, I think we often forget that our job is to tell our clients’ stories. We’re story tellers. That new product might have 17 new features but what makes it a good story? That new executive hire might have an impressive industry background but what makes her joining your client at this moment so interesting — where’s the story there?

Here at Matter many of our clients fall into two categories: consumer and high technology. This mix is an important reason why we’re really good at coming up with creative pitch angles and landing coverage in a wide range of places. The tech geek in us is quick to understand how the technology works. The consumer guru knows what makes a quirky, unusual story that “regular people” will care about.

I sometimes tell prospective high-tech clients that if they want coverage only in the technical publications that cover their industry, we’re probably not the agency they’re looking for. But if they’re looking for someone that can learn their story, figure out why it’s interesting and different, and explain to a wide audience why it matters to them — well, we’ve got a story worth telling.