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Story time is a very important time in my household. Something that the children always look forward to; a little bit of down-time with mommy and daddy at the end of the day to sit together and share. It's part of our routine and is pretty much non-negotiable. If you can't make story time then there'd better be a very good reason.
Whether you have children or not, the pleasure of sitting down to enjoy a story that takes you places, fires your imagination or triggers an emotional connection never really goes away. We all like being in the company of someone who can tell great tales or regale us with anecdotes, and we look to books, TV and movies to spirit us away at the end of a long day, so why is a lot of business communication so bland?
I put it down to a feeling that somehow we must be serious when we’re talking about business, regardless of what the communication is, or who it’s for. Now I’m not advocating turning an annual report into a picture book, but I am thinking about those times when a company wants to attract new customers or engage with existing ones. Are your recipients more likely to respond to a message that sounds like it's from a corporate entity, or one that sounds like it's from a real person? Would you rather receive an ‘elevator pitch’ that’s all about the company emailing you, or would you prefer something that spoke to your experiences and was all about you?
By nature we are interested in people, characters and stories. We can't help but root for the underdog, want to solve the mystery or hope that the storyline we've been following for months has a happy ending. And it’s not restricted to fiction - a quick search of TED talks on story telling revealed 86 videos with millions of views. To me this says that if you can figure out how to apply the magic of storytelling to your brand, you have the best chance of standing out in what is a sea of online data and hardcopy collateral all fighting for the attention of a finite number of people.
So now I know this, I plan to embrace it and when it comes to the Business Enablement and Marketing Empowerment track at Progress Exchange 2013, I will be focusing on getting everyone to channel their inner story-teller as we update you on how we're going to help Progress partners and customers tell their Powered by Progress stories to the whole world.
Got a story to tell? Want to know more about ours? Here's how you can get in touch:
View all posts from Jennifer Smith on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.
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