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Private Equity’s Hidden Asset: How Editorial Storytelling Can Set Your Firm Apart

Four lessons for building an editorial strategy that will elevate your brand and influence audiences that count.

Karine Bailly is the VP of Brand Experience at Long Dash. She formerly led a team of brand and content strategists at the branding agency CHIEF.

In the world of private equity and venture capital—both driven by value creation—it’s surprising that storytelling remains an underutilized asset. When done right, this practice isn’t a check-the-box communication exercise; it’s a critical tool for articulating the firm’s full spectrum of value beyond capital alone.

I’m sure you’ve all seen it: the sea of firms that lean more heavily on the quality of their relationships, industry knowledge, and strategic acumen, and less on the power of brand. Or firms that sink their time into writing press releases in the hopes of earning media interest, meanwhile foregoing the opportunity to share their own perspectives via storytelling and thought leadership content.

This approach is a miss. We agree that reputation matters. But past performance and media coverage are increasingly less potent forms of establishing credibility and fortifying a firm’s reputation. 

When editorial content reflects a firm's brand and strategic goals—framed in a way that is useful for audiences—that very content becomes a powerful tool for informing, engaging, and credibly differentiating the firm.

The power of editorial

Firms can achieve a strong brand with a robust editorial strategy that powerfully expresses the brand’s central concepts. Recent McKinsey research has shown that brands that invest in compelling and creative storytelling are more likely to have an above-average net enterprise valuation. Nailing this strategy will distinguish your firm from the competition by not just sharing what you do, but also why it matters—to you as an investor and for your audiences.

We believe that a journalistic approach is most effective in helping brands define their value to the world and their values as an organization—because for these devices to “work,” they must be grounded in truth. Slogans without substance will get you nowhere in the face of today’s sophisticated and skeptical audiences and their innumerable sleuthing mechanisms. Instead, we partner with brands in asking the right questions, validate answers, and hone in on the central concepts and larger themes they can credibly “own.”   

When editorial content reflects a firm’s brand and strategic goals—framed in a way that is useful for audiences—that very content becomes a powerful tool for informing, engaging, and credibly differentiating the firm. When done with consistency, this is the foundation for relationships and, yes, a strong reputation. For example, a firm focused on sustainable investing might share stories that highlight what audiences stand to gain from successful green investments, or it can discuss the impact of environmental considerations on asset valuation.

Drawing from industry leaders who have mastered the art of editorial storytelling, here are four lessons from the field on creating engaging narratives that resonate. 

  1. Be useful

Bessemer Venture Partners stands out for its commitment to empowering the founders it invests in and for its curiosity-driven culture. This ethos is expressed in its insights platform, Atlas. Bessemer takes a uniquely supportive approach with this content, focusing on educating and supporting founders rather than merely promoting them. This strategy is crucial as it empowers entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed, fostering a foundation of trust and partnership. 

By prioritizing educational content, Atlas not only aids in the development of stronger, more resilient startup leaders but also enhances its reputation as a thoughtful and invested partner in the startup ecosystem.  

  1. Capitalize on your unique value and expertise

Goldman Sachs Exchanges leverages the investment giant’s valuable insights on the global economy, markets, and industries. Known as one of the most storied and innovative global firms, their weekly podcast features in-house experts discussing various topics that not only keep listeners informed but also help them understand complex economic trends in a practical and applicable way. 

The podcast serves as a tool for Goldman Sachs to reinforce its expertise and thought leadership while offering tangible value to its audience by clarifying how broader economic movements may impact individual and corporate financial decisions.

  1. Foster connection and trust with character-driven stories

Sequoia Capital is defined by the creativity and bold ideas of its community, so it showcases the entrepreneurs behind their investments with magazine-quality profiles written by seasoned journalists. These gorgeously designed and executed profiles delve deep into the founders’ backgrounds, their motivations, the challenges they’ve faced, and their visions for the future. 

These stories connect with audiences because they provide a detailed, nuanced look at the individuals shaping the business landscape, thus elevating Sequoia’s own narrative as a firm that genuinely understands and invests in visionaries.

  1. Create a clear plan for engagement 

Andreessen Horowitz takes a tailored and systematic approach to content distribution with its suite of podcasts. This includes its flagship a16z podcast and its other series in its a16z Podcast Network, which are dedicated to specific, trending topics such as AI, web3, and healthcare. By maintaining a steady and predictable release schedule, the firm ensures that its audience can consistently rely on fresh, insightful content, which inspires reader habits, expands brand reach, and solidifies Andreesen’s position as an industry thought leader. Additionally, by segmenting their podcasts by theme, the legendary VC firm effectively targets distinct audience segments interested in specialized topics. 


Your firm’s story here

Effective editorial storytelling doesn’t just support a firm’s visibility; it allows you to own your own story rather than entirely outsourcing it to the media. Through compelling storytelling that you host on your own channels, private equity firms can effectively—and consistently—communicate their successes, differentiated point of view, and future ambitions, ensuring they are perceived not just as financial entities, but as visionary enterprises capable of pioneering the future in a complex market landscape. The stories you tell not only define how others see your firm but also how they remember it. 

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