What’s my story?

Hello! I’m Denise — all my life I’ve been curious about what makes people tick, what’s their Why. I’ve never been content to just get the basics — I want to know what happened next, why did they do that, what did it look like, what happened after that? Along with that, I’ve been a voracious consumer of books since I could first read and a constant writer. My journal has been a constant companion for decades and unlike most, I loved writing school papers (weird, but true). I wrote my first ‘book’ when I was 12 years old based on a wild adventure my best friend and I dreamed up about running away to Hollywood and achieving stardom….

That didn’t happen but I did end up turning my love of writing into a career in communications and public relations as a communications advisor in several large organizations.

Then what happened?

While working at these organizations in my early career, I saw that the way in which we were trying to reach our audiences — through sharing facts and information about the organization -wasn’t effective. There was little engagement and even less responses to the calls to action. At the time it was how leadership had typically communicated. Change was going to be difficult.

At the last company where I held a communications advisory role, I conducted internal interviews with key staff about their roles, their stories and why they chose their particular careers for the company intranet. I found these stories fascinating and so did our internal audience, who asked for more.

I was intrigued by this and I began to do research into the impact of stories in communications and how they inspired action. All the research showed that as human beings, contrary to what most of us think, we make decisons based on emotion, not logic.

“The irresistible power of storytelling

We humans have been communicating through stories for upwards of 20,000 years, back when our flat screens were cave walls…..Strategic storytelling has also been enlisted to change attitudes and behaviours….

Storytelling may seem like an old-fashioned tool, today — and it is. That’s exactly what makes it so powerful. Life happens in the narratives we tell one another. A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.” Harvard Business Review, March 2014

The next chapter

I had found my calling — to turn my passion for discovering the whole story and my love of writing into helping people and organizations tell their stories and inspire action. I left the corporate world and created Amphora Communications. Since then, I’ve worked with hundreds of people and organizations to help them discover their stories and connect with the right audiences in order to create meaningful impact.

I’ve helped organizations from solopreneurs and startups to small to medium sized business owners to multinational energy companies, for profits and not for profits, to tell the right stories and make a difference.

Why the name ‘Amphora’?

There’s a story behind this name choice. A friend wanted to help me choose a name and asked me to leave it to him. He did some research into the meaning behind my name – Denise — which took him to the Greek meaning ‘From Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine and Merriment’. While doing this research, he came across images of ‘amphoras’ — which are jars with two vertical handles used in antiquity for the storage and transportation of foodstuffs such as wine and olive oil. The name derives from the Greek amphi-phoreus meaning ‘carried on both sides’.

He suggested Amphora as a name for my company. I loved the fact that the name and image evoked history and story along with the balanced, two sided meaning behind this ancient word — companies that understand their audience’s stories and their needs are the most successful.

This is not the end

From blog writing to ghostwriting to legacy writing, I’m still passionate about helping people and organizations strengthen their brands and tell stories that will resonate with people, that they will care about and will share with others.