Park Howell, the founder of ad agency Park & Co. and author and entrepreneur, is joined by guest and long time friend Jay Baer to launch the new Business of Story podcast. This inaugural episode helps listeners discover the backstory of why the show was created, why storytelling matters, and how to structure a narrative to “communicate and connect” with your community.
This has nothing to do with storytelling but I have beed a fan boy of both for years. What an extraordinary attitude on Gruber's part. Can you imagine how wonderful life in corporate America would be if it were infused with this attitude (and Simmons too!).
Here’s a simple trick to determine if your strategy is coherent. If you cannot tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end, you do not have a strategy.
Think about the plans listed above. They’re stories.
A blueprint for a new building is a story of stories, of what the building will look like and how people will use it. A menu is a story of a logical progression through a curated collection of tastes and experiences. A map is a story of how you’ll traverse the land.
Narrative podcasts are story-driven shows, as opposed to interviews or game-show-like recordings. They rely on heavy editing to splice together the right story, pulling from interviews and other recordings, sounds, and music. Many feature a host who narrates the story, almost as if everything else happened in the past.
Stories without a turning point are just anecdotes. Peter Aguero, The Moth's StorySLAM host says:
“I’ve seen people tell stories about things that are really difficult for them. And you know, when they are telling the story, they are a little bit taller. They don’t have that stuff weighing down on them as deeply.” This isn’t easy, Aguero admits, but it is vital. “We’re all a product of every experience we’ve had, and some of it is good, and some of it is trauma, and some of it is really terrible. And you know, if you don’t deal with it — if you don’t confront it, you’ll never get over it, and parts of it will own your life moving forward.”
Storytelling isn’t therapy, he says. “But it is very therapeutic.”
Back in 2004, Christopher Booker took a series of concepts from Carl Jung’s archetypes, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, and Arthur Quiller’s conflicts and rendered them down to 7 core plot types. These plots are eternal and form the basic fabric of virtually all our stories.
"The logical question is, do these story archetypes translate well to the stories we tell in business? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, the 7 basic plots are a great set of guidelines to understand whether you’re telling a coherent story at all."
Explaining how the timeless clash between the two sides remains among the most elemental forms of storytelling worldwide, a study published Tuesday by researchers at Oxford University has concluded that virtually all modern narratives are re-expressions of the classic Alien Vs. Predator conflict.
While my title question may seem to answer itself (it’s a person who tells stories, obviously), I thought I’d explore what a chief storyteller really does and why some of the most successful businesses on the planet are employing them.
Leaders are always seeking new ways of solving problems, addressing challenges, achieving objectives. I wondered what would be the guidance I could give to any new leader for discovering the possibilities for the resolution of the challenge?
Then I realized: it was to frame challenges as stories.
Creative storytelling is important in an effective direct response marketing campaign. If you're doing a direct mail piece, you want to lead with a conversational opening piece, move gently into a heart-grabbing story, tie-in some proof with more stories, benefits and things that motivate people to buy, and then you close with a call to action and the direct response you want the prospective client to take.
Stories are in our make-up. They help us interpret meaning, connect with people across generations, and articulate really complex stuff in easily digestible snippets. The advertising & media industries are built on their ability to tell compelling stories. Stories of love, stories of hate, and stories of redemption. Your ability to tell a compelling story was the differentiating factor for the Mad Men era of agencies. Brands would pay big bucks for a story that would influence their audience into making a purchase. Mass media provided a captive audience for these stories, with eyeballs and the associated hearts & minds of a generation unburdened by the internet. We were living in a world of dreams – where our aspirations of wealth, health, acceptance and excitement were fuelled by the promises of advertising creative and PR spin conceived in agency boardrooms; and those with the desire & means to pay for it.
There are a ton of storytelling-related books and websites in the cosmos. And there is no shortage of people giving story advice and tips. Much of the advice is helpful, but the enormous volume of information related to writing or telling better stories can be overwhelming. Therefore, when someone credible comes along who offers free, insanely simple yet effective advice for improving one's story, he will find a very large audience indeed. This is exactly what happened just a few years ago, all quite by accident it would seem.
Sure, you're competing with every entertainment and sports and news and cultural producer on the planet for peoples' attention. But all they have is beautiful, famous, talented stars, and amazing athletes, and worldwide news. You have something they don't have -- BRAND STORIES!
Make people totally fascinated with your brand by creating powerful brand stories! Soon, they'll want to have a brand relationship, and understand how your brand aligns with their lives, and how they can co-create with it, and share brand values. You'll have a global community of brand ambassadors creating a movement around your awesome brand.
Here's the key: STORYTELLING!
Gregg Morris's insight:
Every brand marketer/storyteller should pin this above their desk and read it daily!
Voyage and Return is a difficult story framework to tell a customer’s story because your customer shouldn’t be returning home empty-handed after an experience with you. Conversely, Voyage and Return is framework you can use to tell their stories for dealing with a competitor. Your customer goes out to satiate their hunger, has to deal with bad food or poor service at a competitor, and returns home wiser, yet still hungry.
Previously, we looked at Christopher Booker’s 7 basic plots of how stories are told. Today, we’ll look at the second of these 7 from a content marketing perspective: Rags to Riches.
If you’ve seen Cinderella, Pretty Woman, or other similar archetype stories, you know how it goes. Poor hero faces incredible challenges, gains something, loses it, and gains it back after becoming a better person or overcoming a situation.
Stories work for business because we [the audience] identify with brands. We see ourselves living the lives in these brands’ stories. Therefore, we begin telling stories too. Stories like my New York #missadventure.
Brands need to become media companies.
I recently attended a storytelling seminar with screenwriter, Robert McKee and one of the points he made speaks to this. Companies need to understand that in order to create loyal brand advocates they have to become media companies.
In advertising marketers interrupt the story people want to see with brand promotions that pay for it. Yet, in social media marketers must create the content people want to see. Brands must interest the audience themselves by telling a good brand story. But what makes a good story?
To research the power of story my colleague Michael Coolsen and I analyzed two years of Super Bowl commercials - the one time people choose to watch advertisements for the enjoyment of the ads themselves. We wanted to know which ads were the most liked, the ones that drew interest with buzz and votes to finish in the top of the advertising ratings polls.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.