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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Fallowfield

Why you are your own best storyteller

Over the past year, FF&M’s MD Juliet Fallowfield has been writing a bi-monthly guest column for Retail Jeweller. In this column, discover Juliet’s thoughts on why you are your own best storyteller. 

If you have founded your brand, you are the person within the business who has the most intimate knowledge of its origins, values and vision. Plus you can provide unique insights and perspectives on the business that an external third-party PR may not be privy to. 

The analogy I often use is that you’re trying to describe your kitchen to someone you’ve just met. Who is better placed to do this? You, who knows every utensil, sticky drawer and ingredient, or someone you’ve briefed once over Zoom who has never even visited the kitchen, let alone lived and cooked in it for years?

Your deep personal connection and firsthand experience enables you to communicate your story in an authentic and compelling way, conveying the passion and purpose as well as anecdotes around the challenges that have guided the brand along the way. In telling your own story you’ll be humanising it in a more relatable and inspiring way to the press, who write for their readers (aka your prospective clients) and want to hear from the person who started it.

When a journalist interviews a founder, they can get a deeper understanding of the company's mission and culture, as well as the passion and drive that fuel its success. This can help to differentiate the company from competitors and create a more meaningful and memorable story for readers while also building a longer-lasting relationship between the journalist and founder. 

The UK is known for encouraging entrepreneurship but many who start businesses forget to tell anyone what they’re doing. This is where working on your PR and pitching to achieve editorial can help your business reach a wider audience via an editor’s writing. 

Often described as a ‘dark art’, PR can get a bad rap. I can confirm that it is not long lunches, air kisses and gift bags. In our word count here I am limited as to how much I can demystify it. However, by encouraging you to learn more about how the editorial press work, I guarantee you’ll also find some great efficiencies with your pitching efforts.  

Knowing what makes an angle, how quickly to respond, how and when to follow up, what types of images and formats they require and when to take no as an answer, will also mean you incorporate PR at the conception stage, rather than the week before you launch. 

Where PR can support you is clarifying your ideas and advising what is interesting news for a journalist. We have found some clients can be fixated on what is the most pertinent news to them as a business leader without realising that it may not resonate with a journalist. For example, a packaging refresh rarely gets press coverage! A PR can also suggest which press may be interested in your story and where to focus your pitching efforts.

It isn’t all about PR either. You’ll be constantly communicating about your business to a variety of stakeholders; your employees, suppliers, investors, future board members and of course clients will all expect a consistent and succinct articulation of your brand. 

Fallow, Field & Mason is a PR, communications and podcast production consultancy enabling businesses to own their PR in-house for the long term. Believing that founders and creative directors are their own best storytellers, FF&M offers a series of fixed priced modules to optimise brands’ communications so they can confidently tell their story to their key audiences, building greater brand awareness and ultimately driving revenue. 

Juliet is also the host of the Apple charting podcast: How To Start Up, the entrepreneur’s ultimate handbook

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