“There is no strategy without a story. There is no story without the main character. The main character is you.”
“I love that the author starts from an audience perspective. As a brand strategist (and admirer of Seth Godin) the starting point has to be the WHO, it impacts everything else. “We should be imagining the audience first, asking ourselves: what do they know about us? Think about us? And what would we like them to think, feel and do?”
I firmly believe that the more time we invest in understanding the audience, the easier it is to mould the message for them to relate to and engage with. So too does the author.
And so he elaborates on the importance of the story. With the story being told being dependent on just who you are relating it to.
“Facts are important. But stories are vital if you want to enhance reputation.” It’s hard for us to make sense of lots of data, but a story can help us make sense of it. “Stories are about people, challenges, struggles, mistakes, hopes and dreams.” Stories are relatable. Evidence is essential. There are those who struggle to see a story, but the author is clear about the importance and impact. We need to take the time to look for the story. We are looking to move the audience from one point to another.
The brands we love are great storytellers and the author details examples to help us understand the principles he is postulating.
Stories require effort. It’s not a ‘get it out quickly’ but rather an iterative process. To be an authority, you need to have a context and the right content. Leaders (people, brands and businesses) see the value in this investment.
He describes a two-part process: finding your story, exploring timeless principles and then telling your story, outlining the techniques to do so, emphasising that great brands do both.
The author has certainly followed this approach. I found myself nodding as he verbalized many of my thoughts, that I have not been able to express anywhere near as clearly.
I loved these thoughts:
“Know your audience. Flatter them. Involve Them. Play to them. Win them. Keep them.
“You need a story to tell in the first place before… (hiring photographers etc)
“Social media is a very personal thing. All it does is expose and amplify who you are.”
“The conclusion usually comes first.” The business reader doesn’t have time. They want to stop reading as soon as possible.”
“Focus on the person, not the organization.”
“ Tell a powerful story. By humans. For humans.”
This book has broad appeal. It is for those who are looking to write meaningful content. It is inspiring, informative and a great guide. It is a great handbook. It’s a gem. I highly recommend you buy it. I intend to revisit it on a regular basis. There is just too much to take in in one reading. It’s deep. It’s rich. It’s inspiring.
With many thanks to the authors, the publishers, Practical Inspiration Publishing, and NetGalley for my free copy to review”
“A must-read for PR firms, business leaders and anyone interesting in understanding what it takes to be a great storyteller.”
“Absolutely love this book. It’s unique and personal but totally practical too. Essential!”
“The Mike Sergeant book is a must-read for business leaders in this most challenging of times. With a powerful mixture of stories as a journalist, as an interviewer, as a speech coach, Mike underlines the much forgotten “human” message. If you want to be listened to then tell a compelling story – this brilliant book tells you how.”
“‘PR for Humans’ is a must-read for anyone keen to understand what it takes to tell a powerful story in an effective and engaging way. This is an exceptional book that is full of invaluable insights.”
“I have been struggling to find a decent book on personal branding for years and finally, I have found this book. I work in the PR industry and part of my job is to represent individuals and their personal brands. Standard tomes on corporate and consumer brands do not apply to my work, but this book was spot on. It has two main parts, one is to understand the principles of communications in our connected world and the other is focused on the delivery side be it media relations or public speaking. It is not just for PRs, it is for all professionals who wish to further their career and understand that controlling their story will lead to future success and shaping their career trajectory.”
“People make stories. Stories create movements . Movements need leaders.” This quote is what this book is about. The book is a practical guide to creating engaging communication with audiences. Mike shares a lot of stories and gives a framework on creating your own story. All of the important areas are covered for public speaking. If you follow those guidelines and practice a lot, there is a big chance of being successful in own PR and in representing your company internally and externally.