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Unlocking the elements of your story

| October 11, 2023

Chris Duffy

Chris Duffy

Vice President, Public Relations

Client stories matter to us because they matter to the public. One thing our work has taught us time and again: If you’re not telling your own story, the public will do it for you.

And chances are, it’s going to be a work of fiction. We see it all the time with companies and industries that are mysterious and, therefore, misunderstood. So, how do we combat this? Goff Public recommends one effective remedy: Own your story.

Why before what

Charts, percentages and statistics, while important, aren’t effective at reeling people in.

To tell your story effectively, you must first nail down your organization’s identity, and it starts with your “why.” People are more willing to buy in to your “what” if they understand and embrace your “why.”

Take Goff Public for example. We’re a public relations and public affairs firm specializing in communications. But that’s just our “what.” Our “why” is that we believe that every organization has a unique story worth sharing.

By being open and authentic about what drives your work, you show the public that you’re not just a transactional business. You’re an organization with unique convictions and traits. Now we can delve into your story. But first…

Put down the humble pie

Minnesotans seem to eat more of it than others—and they always leave the last slice! While those are good potluck manners, they make storytelling in business a lot trickier.

We’ve worked with several extraordinary clients who were both unsure of how to tell their story and whether they had an interesting message at all.

Sharing your story isn’t bragging—it’s shining a spotlight on what makes your business special.

Uncover hidden gems

Uncovering the hidden gems within your organization is key to shaping your story.

Sometimes, clients find themselves scratching their heads, wondering what to talk about. But there’s always a story waiting to be discovered.

If you’re struggling for ideas, here are five questions to kickstart your creativity:

  • What’s the story behind your founding and how have you evolved since then?
  • Which people within your organization have captivating experiences or untold stories?
  • What exciting innovations are taking place at your company?
  • What sets your culture apart?
  • Who are your subject matter experts, and what topics ignite their passion?

Keep it people-centered

When telling your story, remember to keep people at the center – they are the heart and soul of any great story (and business!).

Sharing stories that showcase your company’s humanity gives the public a glimpse into who you are and helps them see a reflection of themselves.

This taps into our basic desire to relate to and empathize with others. We feel the person’s struggles, share their victories and grow with them.

By the end, the connections we form with the people at any organization can become deeply personal, and we become invested in what’s to come.

Own your story

In today’s interconnected world, taking ownership of your own story is crucial. No one knows your story better than you, and you have the ability to uncover the interesting characters, unique points of view and untold histories inside your organization.

When our clients come to us ready to proactively tell positive stories, many experience a reputational boost with both internal and external audiences. So, embrace your story and tell it with confidence!



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Chris Duffy

Chris Duffy

Vice President, Public Relations
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