• Lesley Gold

Why Your Story is Your Most Strategic Asset

‘Help wanted.’ ‘We’re hiring.’ ‘Apply now.’ Businesses across the country are experiencing an extraordinary talent shortage, and the Public Relations industry is no exception. We struggle to find people with the right experience, blend of skills, and cultural fit. (Take a look at all the roles we’re currently trying to fill.)


As a result of the tight talent market, we can’t work with every company that inquires into our services and maintain our high standards. We also find that many companies don’t yet have the resources to fund a PR agency or the internal bandwidth to create their story.


We’ve always had more demand for our brand story services and there are some clients not ready for an agency who need help with their stories and their businesses. Last year we piloted a class with Chairman Mom to offer virtual consultation on PR basics and the response was terrific. This year we will offer PR Services in the form of an eight-week course starting Monday, August 23 called New Media Mastery: Lesley Gold & Sarah Lacy’s PR Academy. The asynchronous course includes live, weekly office hours with me and Sarah on Thursdays at 10 am PT and guided workshopping through the creative exercises we use to help our clients develop their brand stories.



A Community of Business Builders

When Sarah and I first taught this course last year, we learned just how many Chairman Mom community members are also entrepreneurs and business leaders., The course draws a diverse mix of people across industries who want to more clearly and boldly articulate their foundational ideas.


These include:

  • Executives who want to learn how good PR works so they get the most on their investment.

  • Communications leaders who can’t hire a PR team right now, but need to activate a campaign.

  • Bootstrapped entrepreneurs who want to up-level their story.

Working within this community means you’ll not only learn from me and Sarah, but from others’ rich and diverse experiences, feedback, and networks. In fact, we found that 85% of participants complete the course and 30% sign up for another one within the platform.


Storytelling is the Strategy

Defining your story is an essential part of your daily communication. It can help you solve a sales problem, recruit talent, attract inventors, and land coverage in the media. That’s why we say your story is your brand’s most strategic asset, and sharing every aspect of your experience — from the lows to the highs — will enable you to connect on a deeper level with the people who matter to your business. Once you have that story, you can create different content vehicles and engagement strategies for activating different audiences across various channels.

The first half of the course lays out the basics of DIY PR — such as the anatomy of a launch, positioning, messaging, and story. Then we focus on helping you avoid unforeseen errors and respond to crises. Because you have to go through the fire yourself in order to teach this stuff, we’ve invited amazing guests to share their real-world expertise, including:

  • David Barrett, CEO of Expensify

  • Aaron Levie, CEO of Box

  • Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb

  • Lisa Cron, author of Wired for Story

Participants will walk away understanding what goes into constructing world-class stories that captivate media and other audiences. You’ll also get a front-row seat to our personal experiences as founders of our own companies, in all my years advising CEOs, and Sarah’s unique POV as a top-tier business journalist at TechCrunch and Businessweek.


The Art of Story

There’s both science and art to story. This course is dedicated to the hardest part: the art. Participants are expected to come with their goals, objectives, and a solid understanding of their audience, so we can spend the majority of our time with story fundamentals.


Your business, your expertise, and your contributions are noteworthy. Every day you are nurturing important relationships, engaging with customers or employees, and gathering knowledge that can — and should — be shared with employees, customers, investors, partners, and the media.

There’s no need to wait until you can hire a PR agency. I hope you’ll join us, and our whip-smart community, to get started on your brand’s most strategic asset: your story.

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