The Secrets of Successful Storytelling


We talk about storytelling here at the Altitude Group – a lot.

Storytelling is a huge part of what distinguishes humans from animals.

Only humans tell stories. Story sets us apart. It’s one of our oldest activities and arguably even serves as the foundation for society. Whether that’s hanging out with a few buddies for beer or trying to market a great product.

I love stories and I’m a storyteller. So naturally, I was really pumped when I first heard about GE’s #pressing campaign back in March. Pressing is an effort to “bring leading voices in media together for smart discussions on policy issues.” It’s an ongoing campaign collecting media content into a continuously updated dynamic display on

There’s a ton of great information there, but like most good storytellers, GE didn’t invent a whole new repertoire from scratch. Instead, they curated and distributed stories from leading publishers and added in a dash of their own incredible content.

Linda Boff, GE’s executive director of global brand marketing (be sure to follow her killer Twitter feeddished on what turns regular storytelling into amazing storytelling. For one, they have to be authentic. With information readily available and everywhere, and 1,000 different brands competing for a consumer’s attention at any given minute, readers can spot hucksterism from a mile away.

With GE’s #Pressing campaign, which promoted high-quality editorial content from several top news media partners, the goal was for GE to bring together diverse policy opinions in a constructive way. In doing so, GE built affinity with beltway insiders on all sides of the political spectrum in a never-before-done way, leveraging meaningful content instead of the usual airport jet way advertising.

But besides good stories, storytellers need good technology. As Linda notes: “If you’ve got a powerful story and you combine it with powerful technology and you put these two together, pow! Fireworks!”

Pow? And Fireworks? I couldn’t have said it better myself!