what we think

We don’t think of ourselves as know-it-alls, but we do like sharing our thoughts, experiences and POV from time-to-time. We are in continual learning mode and here is what we think, when we think it.

Tell Your Story Moves Into Historic Civic Opera House

  The Tell Your Story office has moved, and we love our new location! In February, we relocated to the historic Civic Opera House at 20 N. Wacker. Built in 1929, it’s home to the second-largest opera auditorium in North America and is considered one of the world’s most beautiful.   Within this remarkable space, we work out of the Central Coast office, a dynamic and creative environment that keeps us inspired. Not to mention, the office is located on the 33rd floor, which offers hard-to-beat views of the city. The building also includes an outdoor deck attached to the back of the building, right along the river. It is perfect for lunch on a nice day or even as an extra working space if we want to get out of the office and enjoy the warm weather. We are excited to continue working out of such a historic building and innovative office space!   [caption id="attachment_2201" align="alignleft"...

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A Word from our Intern

Hi, everyone, Annie Beard here! I am a Senior Strategic Communication major at Ohio University, and I am interning with Tell Your Story this summer.  I met George while he was spending time at Ohio U. as the Visiting Professional of Public Relations at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. After a few weeks of follow-up emails and calls, I found myself in Chicago working alongside the amazing Tell Your Story team!   It has been great so far, and I have already learned so much from these PR Pros. I have gotten a lot of hands-on experience with social media, blog writing, competitive audits, press releases and writing content for newsletters—basically everything that a PR nerd, like myself, could hope for!  I have also been working closely with George on CoWorkers, the co-working space he co-founded. (That’s a lot of co’s).  It has been a lot of fun getting to know...

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Tell Your Story Staffing Up to Tell More Stories

  In recent months, Tell Your Story has welcomed two new team members - Ellen DePodesta and Erin Neal. We can’t be more excited to have their expertise complement what we’re up to at Tell Your Story. And our clients agree.   Ellen DePodesta  Ellen has more than 20 years of experience in the B2B PR and marketing world with agencies in Chicago, Los Angeles and Cincinnati.From this experience and her work with heaps of clients, she has plenty to show for it. She has placed client stories in dozens of top-tier media outlets and news websites, and her clients have presented at national and global conferences and received honors and awards in workplace environment, business ethics, marketing campaigns and product innovation. Ellen has earned APR professional accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, following in her parents’ footsteps, both accredited members of PRSA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism...

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Healthy Habits at #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   When I sat down and reviewed the schedule for #BMA14, I saw that there was a morning run each day of the conference. I admire those who were able to get up and run at 5:30 each morning after the evening events of the conference.   Walking in to day number two of BMA14, I was pleasantly surprised to listen to several corporate discussions on healthy lives and the impact on your work quality and productivity.   I love fitness. I love healthy eating. I also love my fair share of fast food and pizza. I knew I needed to pay attention. I have been just talking about health and not doing much about it.   Tell Your Story is definitely a supporter of healthy active lives for team members, which I am very grateful for and just need to become...

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Joe McCormack on Profound Brevity

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago [caption id="attachment_2049" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Joe McCormack presents at #BMA14[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2050" align="alignleft" width="122"] Joe McCormack[/caption] Profound brevity. A crucial skill in business communications, a beautiful concept, one that I personally applaud, one that I hope more of us can attain.   One of my favorite sessions at #BMA14 was led by Joe McCormack, Managing Director, Sheffield Marketing Partners, and author of Brief. His point? Go deep, but keep it simple. We're all too busy for long-winded, blustery talk. No one's going to listen if you go on too long. People will tune out. Your email will be deleted.   There's a difference between superficial brevity, when you just don't know that much and therefore you have to keep it short; and profound brevity, when you know your subject so well, you're able to distill it down to the essential facts and talk...

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Emotions and the Customer Buying Process

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   [caption id="attachment_2041" align="alignright" width="100"] Karen Walker, SVP of Cisco[/caption] Karen Walker, SVP of Cisco, presented on the art and science of creating emotional connections with customers this morning. As the b2b buying process continues to change, emotions are playing an integral role in the customer journey. Karen noted that nearly 60% of b2b buyers go to social communities to find information on a brand or product and nearly 85% use social media during the buying process.   A brand is really an emotional connection someone has with a product or service and surprisingly, b2b buyers are more emotionally connected to brands than b2c customers. This makes sense when you consider the risk, time, money and overall consequences involved in a b2b purchase.   What does this mean for marketers? Many things but the bottom line: we need to...

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Marketing So Good Your Customers Would Pay For It

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   Jay Baer, author of the best selling book Youtility, kicked off the last day of BMA14 with a rousing discussion about useful marketing. He defined “Youtility” as marketing that is so good, your customers would pay for it. Pretty aspirational right?   Jay gave three great examples of “Youtility” in action:   1)   Columbia came out with a knot-tying app. They don’t sell rope. They could have come out with an app that helps you choose a jacket. But how useful would that be?   2)   In Montreal, leases all end on the same day of the year, creating a massive moving day. Ikea tapped into this by giving out free boxes around the town. Guess what? Their sales increased by 25%.   3)   Jay said his favorite example of Youtility is the app RunPee. The app tells you when the best time...

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#IamGenC

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago Yesterday, twelve young b2b pros capped off Day 2 of BMA14 with a fantastic presentation on Gen C. If you think Gen C is just another term for Millennials, think again. Gen C, also referred to as the YouTube generation, is not defined by your birthdate, but rather your mindset (yes Baby Boomers you can be a Gen C'er too!). The C stands for connection, creation, community and curation. The YP presenters painted a vivid picture of who Gen C is and how you can reach them. Here are a few highlights:   They create 100x more content than you can. So hand over the microphone and listen up! They know more about you than you think. So be found! They check reviews and with their peers before making a buying decision. What will they find...

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Watch Out, Kids! For B2B Marketers, Social Media is a Gateway Drug

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   [caption id="attachment_2012" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Gary Vaynerchuk presents at #BMA2014[/caption]   The Second City spoof performance on marketers was a tough act to follow today but luncheon keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk managed to be equally entertaining to most (and perhaps offensive to some).   The VaynerMedia CEO and co-founder, and notable author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, enticed the audience with tales, tips and tricks on breaking through to customers via social tools. Gary contends that most B2B marketers, agencies, and brands underestimate the power of social media and the role each channel plays in reaching current and potential customers.   Here are a few dos and don’ts when playing in the social sandbox:   DO: Escape 1996. Dump the old tactics and thinking and get on board with the tools of today....

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Tripling Down at #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago    [caption id="attachment_1998" align="alignright" width="168"] Gary Vaynerchuk[/caption] Gary Vaynerchuk is a crazy F@&K.  But he speaks the truth. If you’ve seen him speak, you know what I mean.   I love one of his messages about tripling down on your strengths. Don’t waste time doing things you are not good at or not passionate about. If you concentrate on your strengths and passions, you will be fulfilled and probably be successful.   I guess I’ve tripled down on a few things, but listening to Gary made me think that I could do a whole lot more and will be.  In between all of his insults and F-Bombs, Gary’s message really hit home with me. Thanks. I will be tripling down more often now, starting tonight at our #bma14 happy hour.    ...

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