“You’re a marketer’s dream.”

That’s what a fellow Quality Assurance & Food Safety magazine staffer told me on a recent Microsoft Teams video call as I explained a recent hat purchase.

“I’m a good marketer’s dream,” I replied.

But he’s right. I’m a sucker for a well-executed ad campaign — especially one that tells a good story.

For example, the hat in question was a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap. But instead of the club’s standard white and blue, it was black with a sort of hot pink “LA,” meant to signify the Miami Heat, who had been beaten by LA’s other marquee team, the Lakers, in the 2020 NBA Finals.

Good stories hook you, and they raise the stakes. Good stories are easy to share, and they move people into action.

My wardrobe is full of tales. There’s the jean jacket made in the United States of Japanese denim, meant to honor a bourbon collaboration combining U.S. and Japanese distilling techniques. Or there’s the pair of sneakers an influential designer made to resemble a pair he (and I) loved as a kid in the 1990s.

Obviously, as a writer and editor, I’m biased, but whether you’re selling a product or trying to inspire someone, I believe the best way to get your point across is to tell a good story.

Good stories hook you, and they raise the stakes. Good stories are easy to share, and they move people into action.

I’ll let you be the judge on the quality of the articles in this issue (I’m certainly proud of them), but writing and reporting aside, they’re about good stories.

This month’s cover story, “Better Together,” is our take on where food safety culture is now, including a Q&A from Frank Yiannas, the Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response. Of particular interest are the results from our Survey Monkey survey asking food processors for their takes on food safety culture.

More storytelling pops up in “Tech Support,” where experts fill us in on what’s current, new and next in food industry technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

And, proving that a good story can be told with art as much as text, the too-cute cleaning characters drawn by Alex Eben Meyer for “So Fresh and So Clean” seem to pop off the page, ready to scrub your sanitation worries away.

Imagine the stories those little folks would tell.