Storytelling Tip: Use the calendar to tell your story


Storytelling Tip: Use the calendar to tell your story
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Tips for Telling Your Story on the Experience Pros Radio Show
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By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel

Storytelling Tip: Use the calendar to tell your storyHappy Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving traditions — turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, the food-induced coma at the end of the day.

And, of course, Butterball University giving its annual save-your-turkey tips on national television. Some people watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I watch the folks from Butterball tell the rest of us how to save our holiday feast.

It’s a perfect example of how to use the calendar to tell your story. Butterball’s turkey experts have been staffing phone lines since 1981 to help desperate cooks on Thanksgiving and Christmas. And the rest of the year, too. But they aren’t on national TV then.

Somewhere along the way an overachieving marketer created the term Butterball University to describe the training for the company’s Turkey Talk-Line experts. The head of the unit became the dean of Butterball University. And a zillion headlines and TV appearances were born.

The calendar contains a wealth of opportunities to tell your story. August is ripe for back-to-school and other education-related stories. New Year’s is a good time for stories about all those things people can do to improve themselves. Anniversaries, holidays and changing seasons all lend themselves to telling your story — including some you can turn into news stories — if you’re creative enough and paying attention to your calendar.

One of my “favorite” examples is an opportunity missed. I was on the corporate PR staff of one of the Baby Bell phone companies for many years. One morning as we sat around brainstorming story ideas one of my colleagues jokingly suggested we should celebrate Alexander Graham Bell’s 150th birthday, which was that very day.

Everyone laughed at his little joke. Except me. I realized it was an opportunity lost. With enough planning, we could have thrown old Alex a heck of a party and featured some of the latest gadgets we had to sell to show how much things had changed since his day.

Don’t miss your opportunity to use the calendar to tell your story.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?


Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 |

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros radio show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at on the Internet.

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