“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:
What is the definition of the word “story”?
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 newest building or latest award is not a story.
A blog post recapping your volunteer work is not a story.
A case study about your technology lab upgrade or latest program 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. You might have information that you still need to share.
For help shaping your school story into one that’s meaningful to your audience and boosts admissions, learn more about working with us.