Why Content Marketing and Human Resources Should be Friends

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.”
– Ira Glass

Last week Colorado Biz Magazine published an article I wrote about storytelling and why it always needs to start on the inside of a company, rather than through marketing to the outside audiences.

I think as a writer, it’s conversations like the one that his article prompted, and others from a blog post I wrote for the Content Marketing Institute a few weeks ago (Why Your Brand Storytelling Must Start with Human Resources) that bring me so much satisfaction – they inspired people to reach out to me.

Hundreds of people have shared these stories with their network to continue the conversation with those who matter most in their communities. I feel lucky that several dozen have reached out to me personally in one way or another to say how much this topics resonates with them.

As marketers, this is one of the ingredients that I see missing and yearn to see more of – opinions. Points of view. Discussions on what’s going on and how it affects the work that we do.

We’re being tapped to take over more and more responsibility within our organizations. There’s traditional marketing, which we still need to execute with expertise, then add on digital, social, back things up to impact product development and stretch your arms around HR and recruiting.

As marketers, we can’t just “do” this. We have to think about what we’re being asked to do and understand if it’s the right thing to do. From there, we need to be able to lean in even more and guide the conversations about what should be done, rather than waiting to be handed our marching orders.

The only “norm” these days is that the business world is in flux. Part of the reason that we suck so much at telling our story is because we’re not willing to really dig in, examine, question and understand what makes our story truly unique – and how it affects our entire organizations and the people who keep it humming.

There’s a lot of noise out there, and you have two choices. One, stand out in it. Or two, refuse to add to it.


About Carla Johnson


Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author.

Over the last two decades, Carla has helped architects and actuaries, executives and volunteers, innovators and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Her work with Fortune 500 brands has served as the foundation for many of her books.

In her latest project, Fast Forward Files, she contributes to a larger collection of thoughts by some of the world’s greatest minds -  Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee, activist and entrepreneur Heather Mills and behavioral designer, technologist and mental-health champion Peter Trainor. Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking. 

Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.