Storytelling Tips: A few words worth a thousand pictures


Storytelling Tips: A few words worth a thousand pictures
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Storytelling Tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show
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By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant

Storytelling Tips: A few words worth a thousand picturesCan you hear me now? Betcha can’t eat just one. Just do it.

There’s nothing like a good tagline to get your story heard, understood — and remembered.

The three taglines I opened with belong to Verizon, Lay’s Potato Chips and Nike. You probably recognized all three without having to give them any real thought. And you probably knew they had something to do with cell phones, potato chips and . . . Nike.

A good tagline tells the rest of us something about what you do. How it benefits us. And makes us think about you — not your competitors.

All three of the taglines in my opening paragraph are great. But, for my money, Nike’s “Just do it” is better than the other two because it’s hard for most of us to hear those words without thinking of Nike and its instantly recognizable swoosh. You probably got the category right when you read the Verizon and Lay’s Potato Chips taglines, but were less likely to remember the names of the companies.

I tend to associate taglines with big companies, partly because they’re the ones who can afford to spend enough money on advertising to imprint their taglines on my brain by repeating them over and over while I’m listening.

But small companies can have good taglines, too.

One of my favorites is ALMC Mortgage’s tagline — All Loans Must Close. It tells me what the company does. Because of the fear of rejection many of us have when applying for a home loan, it tells us how ALMC benefits us. And there’s only one company that it brings to mind. In fact, it helps us remember the right order of the letters in ALMC’s name. For those of you not familiar with it, ALMC Mortgage is based in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch. It’s run by a friend of mine, Cheryl Braunschweiger. And, if you’re looking for a home loan, you should give her a call.

If you have a great tagline for your business, I encourage you to use it, use it, use it. And then use it some more. Put it on your business cards, your letterhead, your product, your website — and anywhere else that makes sense.

Why? Because a good tagline sticks in the memory of your audience. It brings you and what you do immediately to mind. And it reminds us about how what you do benefits us. Who could ask for anything more?

A great tagline for your company may just pop into your head. If so, you’re really lucky. Go buy a lottery ticket. Most of the time, though, developing a really good tagline isn’t easy. In fact, some companies spend thousands of dollars and come up empty.

A bad tagline is a waste of time — at best. So, don’t use one unless yours is really good.

What’s a really good tagline for your company? It should be short. Catchy. Easy to remember. Or, better yet, hard to forget. It should say what you do. Why that benefits me. Reflect your company’s personality. And make the rest of us think of your company — and only your company.

That’s some pretty heavy lifting for something as short as a tagline. But do it right and you’ll have a few words worth a thousand pictures.

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. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

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