You can’t tell the story if you don’t know what the story is.

Too often, companies talk about themselves without having a clear idea who they are or where they want to go. Let alone what anyone else thinks about them.

You have to ask the right questions.

I had the pleasure of speaking on Friday to marketing and PR pros at the Religion Communicators Council’s conference. The topic was strategic planning, and the three phases for doing this stuff right (research, analysis, results).

I’ve uploaded the basic presentation to SlideShare–and embedded it here.

Storytelling — telling your organization’s story — starts with asking the right questions. The more you (really, truly, madly, deeply) understand your business, your customers, the market, and your competitive landscape, the better you will be able to tell your story. And, most important, tell it in a way that resonates with your core audience.

PS: The RCC talked about why communications pros need a seat at the table in a nice recap of my session.