Elements of a Good Story

Story telling with kids jpg  280×280

As I eluded to in an earlier post today, the PR, advertising and marketing business has converged. Each segment is doing social media. Each segment is trying to do parts of other segments, i.e. PR agencies doing traditional marketing work, while advertisers are conducting PR exercises like messaging training.

It's a confusing, yet exciting time to be in this business considering where the job market is in relation to the industry.

Two elements I've enjoyed of my career has been the writing and communication aspects, i.e. telling stories. And, if you think about this industry in terms of the responsibilities, a lot of what we do is rooted in story-telling.

We create campaigns that tell the story of a brand. We create messaging that clearly communicates the value proposition of a company or non-profit. We develop personas that help bring brands to life online.

These are all elements of story telling, but there are more. Here are more:

  • Keep your audience in mind
  • Start fast and connect with the reader
  • Don't assume anything
  • The success of the story lies in the supporting details
  • Paint the picture; if the character is drinking coffee, what kind of coffee is it?
  • Write the story, don't let the story dictate how you write, i.e. don't force it
  • When finishing, don't forget how you started the story…make the connection
  • Create an experience for your target audience and do so that keeps them wanting to come back, read and engage

What would you add to this list?