Hooray for the English Majors

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July-August-2016_401 IncCatching up on my reading, and was going through the cover story on the July/August issue of Inc. magazine on Robert Herjavec, the co-founder of the Herjavec Group, on the lessons he learned being a Shark Tank judge. His comments on the value of his non-technical college major caught my attention, both as a fellow English major and a PR person (emphasis mine):

“I went to college for a business degree but thought it was boring. So I wound up graduating with a BA in English literature–and then I didn’t know what to do with it. It took becoming a judge on Shark Tank to realize just how valuable that degree really is. At Herjavec Group, we’re experts in cybersecurity–but my degree has allowed me to compete with people in this field who are smarter than I am technically, because I could always tell a better story. Shark Tank is the American dream being played out every week in front of judges in half-hour segments. The format forces you to tell a concise and compelling story. As a result, I’ve learned how to squeeze drama out of every moment and make an impact–both on the show and in my work.”

It’s something that super-bright tech folk sometimes miss about public relations: success is based on how well you can tell your tale, not just how great the company, product or service is. Ultimately, you’re dealing with human beings who love to hear a good yarn spun, and that’s what they literally and figuratively will buy into, whether an early-stage investor or the end consumer.

So what’s your story?

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