CEO as CSO? That’s chief storytelling officer to you

Last week Forbes.com published The CEO as Storyteller in Chief, citing Bill Gates as evidence that “storytelling can be the most powerful way for...

Last week Forbes.com published The CEO as Storyteller in Chief, citing Bill Gates as evidence that “storytelling can be the most powerful way for a chief executive to sketch a vision and align people behind it.”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz avidly agrees. To quote BusinessWeek: “Ask Schultz for the key to Starbucks, and he’ll tell you it’s all about storytelling.”

Now social media enables CEOs to tell their story directly to a global audience. Leading the charge is Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and president of Sun Microsystems (a longtime Bite client) who Forbes nicknamed Blogger in Chief. Schwartz has said his top job as CEO is being a communicator.

The role of CEO must include the job of The Chief Storytelling Officer (to borrow the phrase from CEOs like GamerDNA’s Jon Radoff).

What's your organization’s narrative? Are you David taking on Goliath with a better product and superior support? Are you the inventors of the next killer app? Are you focused executives using operational discipline to significantly outperform the market?

As PR professionals, we need to provide the C-suite with sharp storytelling skills and the multi-channel expertise to take these conversations to market. Our mantra needs to be “audience-centric, channel-neutral communications.” Whether we’re Tweeting, blogging, or speaking with a journalist, it all comes down to telling a compelling story to the right audiences via the right channels.

What’s your advice for telling a great story that conveys the brand?

Katie Neuman, VP, Bite Communications, and blogger

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