Why Your Business Stories Are a Joke (or Should Be)

Eric Munn, Social Media Lead at the satirical news outlet The Onion, joins the Business of Story Podcast to shed light on when and how businesses can embrace the comedy in their own stories.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Eric Munn - Instagram

Make ‘Em Laugh

What’s the one thing that business leaders forget when crafting their brand identity and business stories?


A little lightheartedness can go a long way when forging connections with your consumer base, and who better to learn this skill from than the Social Media Lead of The Onion, “America’s finest news source”?

Eric Munn heads up the social programming at Onion Labs, the in-house advertising agency of The Onion. The Labs are an independent off-shoot of the company and lead their social practices and partner campaigns.

Eric works with companies who seek to create viral, humorous content, and surprise their consumer base with a laugh. Another advantage of these projects is that the satirical style mastered by the writers of The Onion’s news articles also appears in advertising content, to the great delight of The Onion’s considerable fan base. Thus, brands get to expand their network and reach while having a whole lot of fun.

Eric joins us to illuminate the effect comedy can have on viral social media stories, and to share some tips that will help business leaders implement this humor in their own business stories.

In This Episode

  • How The Onion has mastered digital storytelling—and how you can, too
  • The three ingredients essential to every humorous tweet and post
  • How to create “thumb-stoppers”
  • The secrets of social and how it can make or break a storyteller
  • How more brands can take advantage of having more fun in their marketing
  • The power of visuals on social media


Quotes From This Episode

“Many people like to call The Onion a fake newspaper, though I would argue that it’s far from it. Some of the most popular Onion articles are the ones that make us think, ‘That is so true,’ even though it’s probably never said by actual news organizations.” —@emunn

“In this day and age of social and digital, the community has the ability to respond and react. If you make something that we know our audience is not going to react well to, your best scenario is that it falls flat.” —@emunn

“Social media is a break for most people. They live their normal lives and pull out their phone after they’ve finished some project at work or during lunch or on their trip home. So they’re scrolling through a feed of endless amounts of content. You really have to stand out.” —@emunn

“The Onion is really engaging content. It’s all about the storytelling.” —@ParkHowell

“A lot of brands forget what their call to action is. What is the desired outcome for your reader? Can you get these three things: a strong image, an explanation of the story, and what the reader is supposed to do, all in one place?” —@emunn



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