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Go on ... tell us a story

Now then, you may or may not know that it is National Story Telling week this week (Sat 26th Jan – Sat 2nd Feb 2013), and whilst the official website for the Society for Storytelling tells us “National Storytelling Week is about giving out – to all cultures – stories, parables, fables and legends that give a twinkle to the eye…” it also made me think about the place that story-telling has in our everyday marketing activities.

Story telling actually plays a huge role in what we do – and the results that we continually crave. Creating concepts, the written word, direct and indirect messages, visuals, above/below/through the line, grabbing the audience, building the full picture, taking people on a journey, getting the message out there and intriguing people enough to take action, feel emotion, act and/or react.

The effect that story telling has on the channel is quite immense. But be careful, you don’t want it to turn into a nasty case of ‘Chinese Whispers’! Look at the number of levels a message (or story) has to go through in order to reach an audience.

So to go from start to finish, the message (the story!) has to be clear.

In essence we know that the success of our communication is gauged by the results/responses that we get, which is never more apparent than in the channel. So really whether you are settling down for a good read or starting to create your next campaign, the process is pretty similar. How successful is the story we have told about a product or service?

We need a starting point, to set the scene. We have a brief and gather information, objectives and expectations. We define outcomes and devise a basis, a foundation to build on. We look for vehicles, conduits that will carry our message for us. We develop characters and a landscape. There is a plot and an end result – sometimes expected, sometimes not, sometimes a twist.

Everything we do in marketing is based around telling a story – or at least representing a story. So the next time you have a brief and/or new campaign …think about the story you want to tell and more importantly think about who will be reading it, and what affect you want it to have on them.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please get in touch. We’d love to hear it.

If you would like any help telling your next story, we’d be delighted to help you write it.