“Story” and “storytelling” have become buzzy.
Buzzy to the point where the buzz is louder than the words themselves. A meaningless hum in a cluster of identical honey bees.
So I have a question for you:
Do you know? How would you explain it in your own words?
I’ll give you a second…
…OK, time’s up.
I ask because it’s important. As marketers, we should know what the words we use mean.
Seems obvious, right? But when I see the words “story” and “storytelling” thrown around so often, I begin to wonder if anyone is paying attention.
And we should be paying attention. Because “story” has a pretty interesting definition.
What I find most interesting about this definition is simple:
This is a small yet critical point. A story is all about pleasing the audience.
A story is not about the teller’s ego or agenda. It is all about the intended response of the hearer or reader.
So if we’re going to talk about “stories” and “storytelling” in marketing, let’s be real.
A press release announcing your latest news or greatest achievements is not a story.
A blog post recapping your volunteer work is not a story.
A case study of your recent work is not a story.
Ask yourself these questions to find out:
If what you’re producing and sharing does these things, congratulations story master.
If not, it’s time to rethink your tactics, sergeant.
Understand your own motivations. Then see if you can shift those motivations to make them meaningful from your audience’s perspective.
If you can’t, it’s OK. Business has to be done.
I want to hear from you on this. Do you agree with this take on “story”, or do you think the words can and should take on a different meaning for branded storytelling? Chat me up in the comments or over on Twitter and Google+.