Storytelling: The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem

Rob LynchPR Tips

When I was a kid, my father had a really nice record player and stereo, and The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem Live In Person at Carnegie Hall was always in rotation. It still is one of favorite albums and the Children’s Medley, in particular, has always held a special place in my heart. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, it also offers some storytelling tips for small businesses:

Keep it simple. Most of the children’s songs are two to three verses tops. Strive for short and concise. Much like Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, say what you need to say and call it a day.

Repeat the message. One of the running bits is singing the following verse, which refers to the Irish rebellions against the English:

“Up the long ladder and down the short rope
To Hell with King Billy and God bless the Pope
If that doesn’t do it, we’ll tear him in two
And send him to Hell with his red white and blue”

The same goes for delivering key messages. Repeat the message. Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em. Tell em. Tell em what you told ’em.

Use memorable phrases. Shellakybookies = snails. Illy Ally O’ = The Atlantic Ocean. Deliver key messages using sound bites – the key phrase(s) that capture the essence of your company, product or message.

Sprinkle in a story. The “Wren song” is one of the many songs in the the medley. A wren was captured on St. Stephen’s Day and the boys would parade around town singing and dancing, asking for donations. For the funeral. Halfway through the song, they stop singing and share a story to drive it home:

“You’d hear all the groups of grandboys, singing as fast as they could to get more money. But then, there was the always ethnic folk types. They sang it slowly and deliberately. They never made any money of course. But they ended up in Carnegie Hall.”

Share your headline and reinforce it with a story.

Sing with all your heart. Passion is contagious. If you’re speaking from your gut, it’s harder for people to ignore you. And provided those people share the same passion, it’s a lot easier to create evangelists. Sing your company song with the passion and enthusiasm of a child. And see how the people you come in contact with respond.

Wishing you a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte!