On the same day daredevil Felix Baumgartner was garnering worldwide media coverage for his Red Bull-financed jump from outer space, the co-founder of Twitter spent his day teaching PR pros how to become video storytellers.
Focus less on beauty shots and more on humanistic stories, Biz Stone advised during the opening day of the Public Relations Society of America’s International Conference in San Francisco.
“Telling stories that matter, while at the same time highlighting features of your product or service is the way to go,” said Stone, once anointed Nerd of the Year by GQ,
As Stone addressed PR industry reporters and bloggers following his keynote speech to 2,000 students and professionals, global media coverage was focusing on Baumgartner, a 43-year-old Austrian whose 24-mile free-fall broke the sound barrier and quite possibly the record for how much a brand can spend to garner publicity.
While not addressing the stunt over Roswell, N.M., in his remarks, Stone did urge the use of short-format video storytelling by brands. He lauded the work of Nike in producing compelling stories with human angles. (Alas, this video reveals the sneaker-clad Stone wasn’t wearing Nikes, but he says he does don them while running.)
Another brand that earned accolades from Stone was jetBlue, for understanding earlier than other companies how to engage with rather than broadcasting to other Twitter users.
The financial services giant Citi was cited by Stone for committing to CSR.
“I was meeting with the CMO a few months ago and was just in awe of their corporate social innovation tactics and the metrics they were looking for,” Stone said.