The Business of Story

Park Howell promises to reignite within you the one true superpower well all possess - storytelling - in the Business of Story. Learn from internationally acclaimed story artists, content strategists, and brand raconteurs who will help you craft and tell compelling stories that sell. This is the "How To" podcast for story marketing. Each episode delivers at least one actionable tip that will help you connect with your customers, move them to action, and start creating epic growth for your enterprise and your people. Story on!
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The Business of Story




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Now displaying: April, 2017

Expert storytellers teach you how to move people to action.

Apr 30, 2017

In March, The Virgin Group honored storytelling month on its website because Richard Branson believes that the strength and ability to tell stories effectively drives performance in business. 

Branson is just one business leader who has tapped into the ancient craft of storytelling to drive performance and mold the behaviors that construct the culture within many of his booming companies. 

Another one of these astonishing storytellers is our guest today, Doug Keeley.

Doug, the founder of The Mark of a Leader, believes that his life and career path were ultimately changed by the narrative of Tim Burton‘s film, Big Fish, after he lost everything in the crash of his $50 million company.

Doug will share with us how he learned to drive performance through compelling storytelling and how narrative can help you construct the level of prosperity you deserve in your company. 

He originates from Toronto, Canada, where he formed his storyteller skills by being an elite jazz guitarist, a brand marketing guru, and an acclaimed speaker and storytelling coach to many leaders. 

Story on ~


In This Show, You’ll Learn: 

  • The five levels of leadership engagement through narrative
  • How you can use all five levels of leadership engagement even though your competitors are only utilizing two of them
  • How you can apply the ‘storytelling for leaders’ program in your business

Key Quotes:

“All great organizations have a story about how they started and stories that show their culture. I put that together with leadership, and that’s how I ended up here.” – Doug Keeley

“One day, we were this crazy, great company and the next day it was gone. That was a very scary moment.” – Doug Keeley

“Kids aren’t learning by the written word – they are learning by video. At some point in the not too distant future, you’re going to drop in virtual reality to that, and it’s going to completely change how we tell stories.” –Park Howell

“We take this corporate drivel, self-aggrandizing features, and benefitand turn them into stories. If we’re good at it, we make people think, and that’s all Hollywood does—that’s what great writers do.” – Doug Keeley

“In religion, the story will tell you ‘this is how we want you to behave in this circumstance.’ When you put a whole bunch of behaviors together, that’s called culture because the dominant behaviors of any group are what their culture is all about and inarguably in the world of corporate culture, culture drives performance.” – Doug Keeley


Apr 22, 2017

Your customers don’t want to hear about what you make. They want a story about what you make happen. That’s why Robert Rose urges you to transform your marketing department into a storytelling department. Turn your adverbs and adjectives into adventures in your story marketing to move your audiences to action.  

Our guest today has us covered in storytelling from music to Hollywood to creating stories for the largest brands. He’s a sought-after social content marketing strategist, speaker, author, and conspirator of business success.

Robert is the chief strategy officer for the content advisory, the consulting and education group for the Content Marketing Institute. 

He co-hosts This Old Marketing podcast with Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute. He also co-wrote a book with Joe called “Managing Content Marketing,” which is widely considered to be the owners manual of the content marketing process.

Robert has helped develop content and customer experience strategies for large enterprises such as Oracle, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Microsoft, Capital One, AT&T, PEPCO, UPS—and the list just keeps going!


In This Show, You'll Learn: 

  • How to transform your marketing department into a storytelling institute
  • The biggest mistake most people make in content marketing
  • Why you should move your advertising marketing and sales content from featuring adverbs to focusing on adventures

Key Quotes:

"Build those strategic initiatives, those platforms that will help you tell your story that delivers value over time and build that audience so that you get the value of all the content you're creating, not just the individual assets that you're creating." - Robert Rose

"I'm a big believer in when people say, 'content is king.' Then I say, 'Storytelling is the kingdom sorcerer,' - because that's where the magic happens." - Park Howell

"It's about helping them understand that there is another world out there for content that can actually be valuable to the customer - that they can tell stories with." - Robert Rose

"Transform it from an approach of describing value to describing an experience with value packed into it." - Park Howell

 "We can put adjectives in front of nouns, and we can talk about synergies, paradigms, and all sorts of stuff that we're good at it. We can do those things well, but the creation of content for value sake for the audience is a different muscle. It's about delivering value in the content." - Robert Rose

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Apr 16, 2017

One thing we can all agree on is that the digital world is a dynamic place to tell our stories. 

Never in the history of advertising and marketing have brand storytellers like you had more ways to share your messages. 

But these days it seems nearly impossible to cut through the clutter, and that's why there's a gathering every year in San Diego with the top social media experts to help you figure this out. It's Social Media Marketing World and it just took place.

During my time in San Diego, I had the privilege of getting not one, not two, but three interviews with wonderful story brand creators. 

In the corridors of the Social Media Marketing World conference venue, we taped this show. Joining us are Ian Cleary of RazorSocial, Peg Fitzpatrick, author of The Art of Social Media, and Brian Fanzo of iSocialFanz and cohost of the SmackTalk podcast.

These three individuals are pioneers of the world of social media marketing and have boundless insights into how you can best optimize your business’ posts, tweets, and updates.

Their methods of being heard in the cacophony of the social media content storm are you guessed it -- storytelling! Listen in for tips, tricks, stories, and experiences from these social media pros.

Show Guests: 

In This Show, You'll Learn:

  • Why  developing relationships is crucial for engagement on social media and content marketing platforms
  • How to use visuals and interactive narratives to tell a more powerful story
  • The importance of authenticity in social media

Key Quotes:

"You need to understand: Do you have the right audience?" —Ian Cleary 

"There's nothing better at the end of the day, to build a relationship, than when we sit side-by-side having a chat." —Ian Cleary 

"You feel like, I'll just add a little more and a little more, but simple is so good!" —Peg Fitzpatrick

"The first thing you want to do is make sure you know what your brand is." —Peg Fitzpatrick

"For me, I didn't feel like I was doing anything that was special. I always loved sharing." —Brian Fanzo  

"Social media and digital is hard and painful if you're putting on a persona or you're telling a story that really isn't you." —Brian Fanzo

"I think if content is king, then certainly storytelling is the kingdom sorcerer because it's where the magic happens." —Park Howell

"People buy stories much more than anything else." —Park Howell

Mentioned in this episode:

About Business of Story Podcast

The Business of Story is hosted by trusted brand story strategist and keynote speaker Park Howell and is among the top business and marketing podcasts geared toward founders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and communication leaders.

Each episode brings you the brightest content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to make your brand story marketing stand out and achieve epic growth in your organization.  


Apr 9, 2017

On this show, we'll cover how data-driven campaigns are killing the Democratic Party and how you can keep it from happening to your brand. Joining us is a highly decorated thirty-year veteran of the direct mail industry who has worked solely with the Democratic Party, Dave Gold.

Dave is the founding partner of Bouchard Gold Communications. His clients have included Senator Joe Biden, Governor Ann Richards, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, attorney generals, coalitions, causes, propositions, and initiatives. Dave has truly seen it all.

The most troubling recent trend is a reliance on big data, which is leading to micro-targeting and micro-thinking without a compelling overarching narrative for audiences to connect with.

On this episode, you'll learn about the importance of communicating values to stir emotions that drive behavior towards your brand, how Republicans are trumping Democrats with their compelling use of narrative, and how you can do the same to your competition. We'll also share how a Christmas tree can act as the foundational story in everything you do. 

You'll Learn:

  • How you can prevent data-driven campaigns from killing your brand
  • Why communicating values to stir emotions that drive behavior towards your brand is important
  • How you can use compelling narrative to trump your competition

Key Quotes:

"I often say that if you don’t change somebody’s behavior with a program of mail, then you've killed trees for no purpose." - @DaveGold6 (click to tweet)

"What we have to do is find a narrative thread that connects the different issues." - @DaveGold6 (click to tweet)

"Issues are to a campaign message what ornaments are to a Christmas tree." - @DaveGold6 (click to tweet)

"I believe in message-driven, data-informed campaigns." - @DaveGold6 (click to tweet)

"People buy with their hearts and justify their purchases with their heads." - @DaveGold6 (click to tweet)

"Brands need to take a deep breath, step back, and say that it’s not about them - it’s about their customers first and foremost.” - @ParkHowell (click to tweet)

Mentioned in This Episode:

Are you ready to get your brand story straight? Get your storytelling marketing started with the DIY guide to compelling brand stories that sell.

Apr 2, 2017

Today we are investigating how you can use story marketing to turn a commodity into commotion. We’re talking about elevating a fairly banal item, like socks, into a meaningful and sought after experience—all through the brand stories you share!

I know it sounds crazy, but socks are a $6 billion global industry. Imagine the market share you might carve out simply by disrupting the norm with story? 

Today we’re going to meet two people who have done exactly that through their plucky five-year-old company, Sock Club. That’s right! I am a proud Sock Club member.

The company, which was born in 2012 as a small side project, has become one of the premier sock-subscription services. They send quality American-made socks to subscribers around the world. Every month, Sock Club designs and releases a one-of-a-kind sock design. They tell the story of the inspiration behind the design that accompanies each pair.

Joining us today is Sock Club Co-founder, Noah Lee, and Creative Brand Manager, Melissa Huisman, who have spent the past fifteen months bringing the brand voice to life through creative marketing and storytelling. So, how can you use story marketing and turn a basic commodity into a meaningful experience? Let’s find out! 

You’ll Learn:

  • How you can carve out a market share for your brand by using effective storytelling
  • How you can bring a personality and voice to your brand through story
  • Why you should use creative marketing to turn a commodity into a meaningful experience

Key Quotes:

“If we were going to do this we would do it through humor and we would do it through colorful socks.” —Noah Lee @SockClub (click to tweet)

“Something that we strongly believe in is the power of storytelling and the power of human truth.” —@mk_huis (click to tweet)

“How can we say one thing that matters and encourage someone to take the next step in their journey to be bold or courageous?” —@mk_huis (click to tweet)

“You have to think about what’s going to influence them or how they will walk away and think about your brand.” —Noah Lee @SockClub (click to tweet)

“There are stories that already exist in your product, you just need to bring them to the surface.” —@mk_huis (click to tweet)


Mentioned in This Episode: