If you’ve spent any time at all recently reading PR and marketing blogs, you know that storytelling is a top trend, and for good reason. Building storytelling into the communications mix delivers ...
Aaaarrrgghhhh!! See me running down the corridor screaming. I can't believe that this kind of material about storytelling is being shared -- and at SXSW no less.
I love John Hagel and his wriitings on biz storytelling. Gotta say though, I'm disappointed with this latest twist. Now I will say, I don't know exactly what Hagel said at the conference, and the article is someone reporting on/interpreting what he said.
According to this author, Sarah Skerik who was reporting on Hagel's presenation at SXSW, stories are out, narratives are in. Sounds like a marketing ploy to me.
Why? Because Hagel is saying that stories are not participatory, that they are told to the reader from the vantage point of the teller. Then the reader moves on to other things.
Whoa -- stop the trains! This perpetuates the myth that storytelling all about 'telling'. Story dynamics demonstrates over and over again that all stories are participatory. The medium determines the degree of participation. Writing is engaging -- just less so than oral storytelling. No one simply reads a story passively. A story is being created in the hearts and minds of the reader -- especially if it is a compelling one.
Any experienced well trained storyteller -- in business or otherwise -- knows that telling is only half the equation. Listening to the audience and creating a co-created experience is the real value of sharing stories. And the secret to using stories in business is the all about listening and story sharing. That means you are listening to the stories customers and prospects share with you in return. That is highly participatory!
Hagel's next point is that narrative trumps story because a narrative can be never ending but stories stop -- narrative is always evolving, and promotes participation/engagement.
What a false dichotomy! All stories evolve and are shaped over time. Your core biz stories evolve if you are doing the story sharing and listening thing right. Your biz story -- made up of smaller stories -- is always emerging.
If we are going to talk of narrative at all, your business narrative is the accumulation of all of your business stories. And they are always in a dynamic flow, especially if you are building stories together with your clients/customers.
In the end we agree -- business marketing is moving into living brand streams. Based in clearly understanding story dynamics. Not through making these distinctions as Hagel that creates a false mythology about business storytelling.
Bottom line -- we are both saying that listening to your audience, co-creating stories, and leveraging participation are the real functions of business storytelling. That's where you need to pay attention.
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it