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Whether associations seek to gain new members or secure sponsors, the building blocks are the same – choosing the right words, shaping your messages and stories, and delivering them effectively. As a communication firm, we guide you through the process to develop unified and compelling communication across all touch points with your stakeholders (e.g., members, sponsors, partners, vendors, government representatives, and volunteers).

The Chief Storyteller® team can complement and extend your current association marketing and communication activities or be your outsourced marketing department.

We quickly ramp up getting to know your world and are adept at developing messages and deliverables for association, not-for-profits, charities, and foundations. We work with you to cultivate mindshare from a target group, attract visitors to a particular place, promote a cause or social issue to a specific consumer segment, or encourage others to contribute to the success of a cause-related organization.

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In today’s go-go-go on-line world, effective communication for associations is more important than ever. Audiences follow, audiences swipe, audiences like. Do they pay attention? Really pay attention? Ira Koretsky, The Chief Storyteller ®, has been a communicator his entire life. It started in high school when he was in debate. His coach, Mr. H., helped him understand the power of effective communication and understand the power of effective delivery–they went hand-in-hand.

30 years later, NOTHING has fundamentally changed.
To be successful, we need effective communication…between people.

Ira has been coaching, speaking/training, and consulting on communication in more than a dozen countries (testimonials, customers, success stories, video clips). He performed improvisational comedy with ComedySportz San Jose and ComedySportz DC for over 10 years. Also, he teaches public speaking, storytelling, and communication at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

He founded The Chief Storyteller ® in 2002, with the mission of “helping associations and individuals become their own Chief Storyteller ®” (read more in About). Today, we are a different kind of company, offering a different approach to messaging and communication.


Below are accordion/windows listing the various services. Press [+] to expand and [-] to close the boxes.

The Success Framework TM (TSFTM) is the foundation to our mutual success. Based on more than 25 years of global experience, TSFTM was developed to be a highly customizable framework, blending assessments, coaching, training, and services.

TSFTM fosters a “Deliberate Communication” culture for associations. It ensures you synchronize the right messages to the right services to the right stakeholders at the right times.

Strategic Marketing / Strategic Communication

  • Strategic Marketing Adviser / Coach
  • Part-Time CMO Services — hands-on & strategic
  • Strategic Communication Plan
  • Strategic Marketing Plan
  • Messaging / Positioning
  • Value Proposition – Elevator Pitch
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Competitive Intelligence / Perceptual Map

Marketing Communication

  • Success Story / Past Performance Library including interviewing and template design
  • Presentation – See Presentation Support
  • Brochures
  • Proposals – See Proposal Support
  • Recommendations & Testimonials including interviewing
  • Personal bios – Executive team
  • Personal bios – Thought leaders & Key persons
  • Content Marketing – See Social Media
  • Messaging Gap Analysis
  • We-You Analysis
  • Marketing Materials / Collateral Review
  • Video – Interviews, Speaker Reels, About Us
  • Press Releases
  • Webinars for prospecting
  • Demonstrations – Product & Services
  • Trade show support

Development Support

Presentation Support

  • Conference presenter prep services
  • Analysis of audience
  • Message map & inspiring title
  • Success stories
  • Storytelling for impact
  • Data Storytelling
  • Content development (words on slides)
  • Slide design (graphs, charts, images, photography)
  • Public speaking delivery and practice (body language, vocal variety, presence, Q&A, multiple speakers)
  • Presentation script
  • Graphic design services (cover page, slide template, individual slides)

We offer a comprehensive set of services and coaching for presentation and public speaking support under our Inspire Action Public Speaking FrameworkTM.

Building Community -- Social Media & Content

  • Editorial Calendar
  • Content development & content writing
  • Content curation
  • LinkedIn updates & articles
  • Blog planning & writing posts
  • Newsletter development & writing articles
  • Twitter profile & tweeting
  • Facebook profile & posts
  • YouTube profile and videos including planning, scripting, shooting, editing, and posting
  • Instagram profile & posts

Workplace Storytelling

  • Organization story (Elevator Pitch)
  • Past performance success stories
  • Storytelling for Thought Leaders
  • Biographies (leadership, thought leaders, experts, donors, sponsors, partners, members, board)
  • Culture stories: Founder’s, Symbol, Members, Beneficiaries, etc.
  • Storytelling for Leaders
  • Storytelling for Internal Communication
  • Storytelling for Recruiting and Retention
  • Storytelling for Development
  • Storytelling Coach

Social Media - LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn Executive profiles content and design
  • Key team member LinkedIn profiles
  • Company page content and graphic design
  • Showcase pages content and graphic design
  • Updates (blog-like posts to individual pages, Company page, Showcase pages)

Better Meetings

We offer creative, practical services to improve the effectiveness and enjoyment of your most important meetings such as all-hands, town hall, quarterly meeting, annual, holiday party, and strategic retreats.

  • Theme development
  • Draft agenda and select speakers
  • Work back schedule
  • Developing workplace stories matched to the theme and participants (Storytelling Coach)
  • Presentation design / graphic design
  • Speaker / Presenter Coaching
  • Day before and Day of logistics and speaker management

Thought Leadership / Industry Influencer

  • Thought Leadership Plan
  • Identify partners – key decision makers at prospect organizations
  • Identify key information sources and sites (blog, LinkedIn, Magazines, Twitter, Industry sites)
  • Personal brand development (biography, LinkedIn profile)
  • Editorial Calendar
  • Content development (articles, blogs, social media updates)
  • Public Speaking Coach
  • Storytelling Coach
  • Professional Speaker Coaching
  • Evaluate and Revise


  1. Emphasize storytelling, the oldest and most effective form of communication
  2. Ira Koretsky, our CEO, is an adjunct professor of public speaking and storytelling for since 2015 at the University of Maryland
  3. Blend marketing, development, messaging, strategic planning, and advertising with storytelling to create a different approach to communication
  4. Synchronize service, outreach, and marketing at EVERY step in your member’s “experience journey” with associations
  5. Replicate the natural way we build personal relationships in our business relationships
  6. Include a rich set of tools and learning materials that are easy-to-implement and easy-to-use
  7. Transform technical and complex information into conversational and easily understood language
  8. Use improvisational humor like television’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? in our services to improve information retention, participant enjoyment, and impact
  9. Encourage your teams and participants to put ideas into action with interactive and experiential Smart Exercises

For the first time in our 22-year history, we have one easily understood and unifying message.

Allan KullenCEO, Americans All®

Learning and applying The Chief Storyteller® techniques greatly improved our message content and our visual design. The key messaging exercises and charting ideas were easy to follow and implement. Our new presentation enabled us to reach partners faster and demonstrated greater credibility. We are using our new skills with every presentation.

David GilbertDirector of Life Sciences Project, Office of The President, University of California at Berkeley

Ira’s process for telling vibrant stories is a revolution in business communication. My passion is helping leaders explore possible futures, and Ira has given me the tools to make sure my stories really stick with people. It’s inspiring to work with a master of his craft. He is helping me become my own "Chief Storyteller."

Eric GarlandAuthor of Future, Inc.: How Businesses Can Anticipate and Profit from What’s Next and Keynote Speaker, Competitive Futures | Published by Amacom

Ira is the best messaging guy on the planet. Period. His company, The Chief Storyteller, has helped me with three different startup company ideas. In just a few hours, he makes an impact. It’s what his company does over the long term that makes the real difference. They help with messaging of your company, products and services across all potential touch points for clients and prospects. I strongly encourage you to see how they can make a difference for you.

Daniel OdioChief Operating Officer, PointAbout

The Chief Storyteller® is a valued communications partner. They guided us through a detailed storyboarding process to hone our messages, and then crafted powerful visual graphics to elegantly communicate those ideas. The final product was a branded presentation that really spoke our mission and values. We were very impressed.

Victoria Hale, Ph.D.CEO, Institute for One World Health

Ira’s training workshop at AGI was everything he promised it would be! I invited Ira to help us develop AGI’s brand story. It was lively, interactive, and engaging. Following his program, our entire staff was eager and excited to begin the discovery process. Our executive team was especially impressed with Ira’s insightful ideas to find the right words we could all get behind. I highly recommend Ira for communication, leadership and capacity building workshops.

Andrey GidaspovAmerican Geosciences Institute

During the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Entrepreneur Center Media Training event, Ira Koretsky helped me immeasurably with my pitch for Athena’s Workshop to make it sharper and more relevant. I later incorporated the changes into my LinkedIn profile and used the pitch the next week at an event where I was presenting. It worked great. I could not have made the improvements to my pitch and online presence without his advice and suggestions.

Helen Levy-MyersFounder & CEO, Athena’s Workshop

Photography Sources: Header from Unsplash Jim Cooke
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