How much is it worth to tell your story so well that it grips people? What’s the return on that investment?

Imagine, instead, the cost of not doing it.

Think of what sickness, such as the flu, brings: lost work days, pain and suffering, hospital stays — even death, for some. No wonder people get vaccinated. But what is the ROI of prevention? (Many consultants and others have devised calculations. Even more seem to be trying to nail down the ROI of PR.) But that’s a fuzzier number than, say, the ROI of a new machine or more energy-efficient lightbulbs. Still, preventing the flu makes sense. So does good PR or messaging.

Investing in the talent and infrastructure to tell your story well (which can bring more credibility, awareness, funders and business) might be a tougher sell to the board than, say, a more efficient machine. Or, than holding a flu shot clinic on-site this fall.

But telling your story well and managing your message, and being strategic about that, clearly brings value. In that way, it also maintains, or even restores, health — figuratively and literally.

What’s the return on that investment? Priceless.