I recently read a blog posted by Christopher S. Penn, vice president, marketing technology at Shift Communications, about testing your story telling skills as if you were tucking your child in – or remembering a time when you tucked a child in – at bedtime. “You were probably asked to have the lights put a certain way. Perhaps you were asked for a drink of water. You were almost certainly not asked to read them a press release.” A child just wants you to tell him/her a story.
As a communications professional this translates to telling your client’s story in a quick and interesting way. Add visuals such as a photo, graphic, infographic/data visualization or maybe a video to bring it to life. The graphics illustrating Penn’s points in his blog, “The Bedtime Test of Content Marketing and PR,” are priceless.
Now think back to the last time you were mesmerized by a compelling story. What made it so? I often sit in my car to hear the end of one of the Story Corps segments on NPR. Why? Because I can’t step away! It reminds me of my kids asking for “just one more page or chapter…pleeeaase!” at night.
We can all bring that much passion to a product launch, service, event, etc., whether it is a press release, pitch letter, newsletter copy, social media post or phone call. It makes me want to hold a brainstorm with a big white board and plenty of markers to get started. It is time to tweak the “who, what, when, why and how” model and dig into the problem this is solving and why this project might matter five years from now. It is time to become a child again. Time to ask lots of questions and discover something new…maybe again.