To many, Jo Malone is the queen of fragrance. To me she's the ultimate raconteur, and one of the only entrepreneurs brave enough to make her mistakes a part of her story.
At the Hay Festival this summer, I watched Jo talk about her new book, which I later bought and devoured in a couple of days. It helps that you can sniff it out on your bookshelf, quite literally - there's a perfume scented page inside the cover.
On stage, the business woman and nose behind some of the most famous scents in the world was as candid as ever as she talked about exiting her business, and relinquishing the rights to her name and her fragrances.
While that was not a rushed decision, Jo told the audience she regretted it the minute she shut up shop on her last day at work. Cue a period of furious ice-cream making to fill the void.
It matters not that this scented, branded book is a thinly veiled PR exercise, it's the perfect example of how storytelling can be used for promotion. Of course, we're not all Jo Malone, but most of us will have a story or two worth sharing.
When it comes to PR and content marketing for your own business, look to stories. Be a raconteur. Find something interesting to tell and tell it well.
My two favourite pearls of wisdom from Jo Malone: My Story
On the fear of failure...
"A funny thing happens when you mentally paint the worst-case scenario: the risk doesn't feel so loaded and leap is not as daunting. That's the thing about the fear of failure - it stems from the height from which you can fall."
And on problem solving...
"My attitude has always been that if you don't like something there are three choices: change your mindset, change your situation or accept it."