The Right Hook
In the front room of StoryHook’s bright space, a sentence fragment hangs on the wall: “Because people need good stories.”
StoryHook, a nontraditional marketing and advertising firm, believes everyone has a story to tell. They use this philosophy to create stories and branding for their clients and people in the community.
Erik Miller launched StoryHook last September in the Haymarket’s Burkholder Project with Asha Timperley joining him as a writer. Prior to opening StoryHook, both Miller and Timperley worked at a local media production company together.
“It became really clear to me that you could approach advertising and marketing from a storyteller perspective,” Miller said. “Keep it really simple, honest and authentic. You can help people be themselves in marketing.”
When a client hires StoryHook, the duo has a sit-down “discovery session” to learn about the client and a company’s personality. Miller noted the Lutheran Center at University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a recent client StoryHook has worked with.
“Our goal is to take on their personality, take on their story and show that through—in this case it was a website and several video vignettes,” Miller said. “So knowing their goal and their audience, and what they wanted from that, and just helping them tell their story which was really simple.”
In addition to creating stories for clients, StoryHook also created “Stories Matter,” a series of profiles on local business owners and community members with words and photos by Timperley. None of the “Stories Matter” subjects are clients, though some have hired StoryHook after their story was published.
Miller said the goal of the “Stories Matter” series is to keep things honest and centered on the community, rather than StoryHook itself. There are over 35 installments of the series with subjects such as Kendall Warnock of A1 Automotive, Hurrdat and opendorse co-founder, Blake Lawrence and Ann Ringlein, owner of the Lincoln Running Company.
“We did a story on Ann Ringlein and there are so many people who’ve had Ann sell them shoes and watched them walk in them, and done that whole thing,” Miller said. “They know her, they recognize her face but they didn’t know her whole backstory. So I think that’s what people really enjoy, being able to engage with people in the community on that level and hearing stories about people they may not have heard before.”
In both their client work and through the “Stories Matter” series, Miller said StoryHook has received positive attention from the public.
For StoryHook, engaging the community is an important part to their success. To achieve this, Miller said it was necessary for them to be located Downtown.
“The biggest thing is visibility, I mean, this is where things are happening,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of different brands that we love down here, that we love being around. It’s fun to be a part of the Downtown, Haymarket community. Not to downplay any other part of Lincoln, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to start a business like ours, where we want to engage the community, in another part of the city.”
Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy.