As a rule, every business discipline has tried and tested processes and techniques others can understand, learn, and even apply for themselves. These give credence to that discipline. Communication is often seen as an exception to the rule — its success determined by the art of storytelling. In reality, it’s not true. Welcome to GAME — a four step process to improve the quality of your communications — and storylining, the step that comes before storytelling.
You know you have to step up your core communication skills when:
• An incredible 83% of execs say their business strategy isn’t well understood internally (Strategy&, 2014)
• 85% of marketers fail to connect their content marketing with any business value (BMA/Forrester, 2014) and;
• Fewer than 50% of communicators believe all of their work is aligned with strategy and goals (AlignYourOrg, 2014).
With all the hype on storytelling today you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is the ultimate panacea to all business communication ills — and that great business and brand stories are the result of an arcane creative process that only comms-types are privy to.
It’s a nonsense. The truth is, the communications industry is seriously under-performing, and storytelling is not the solution.
Don’t get me wrong; stories are valuable in business and yes, there is an art to telling great business stories. But moving straight to storytelling without first crafting strong, logical, persuasive key messages for the right stage of a decision-making or buying journey inevitably results in a ‘failure to communicate’ … Read more …
I’m looking to clear a little ground before I sow some deeper seeds. Articulating why stories are so important in business often appears to be difficult. Which is remarkable considering all the hype on storytelling, right?
I want to make the distinction between story and communication a little clearer. And outline the business value of stories. Down below is a write-up drawn from the introduction of a workshop on story and communication I recently gave.
We can communicate in many different ways. We don’t necessarily need to tell a story to say, ‘You did a fantastic job!’, ‘Wow, I love working with you!’, ‘You’re late for work,’ or ‘Your bonus this month is a gazillion Euros.’
However, when we need to persuade, when we need to move people away from one way of doing things towards another, stories are the way to go.
Why? Well, as HBR pointed out some time ago, persuasion is the centerpiece of business activity. It goes for employees, organisations, brands and consumers. Telling stories is by far the most effective way to ‘persuade’.
So, in good old top-down style, I’ve taken a swoop through some essential truths on stories Read more …
While at EuroComm this year I grabbed 5 minutes with one of our most provocative speakers, Christian Bluemelhuber, Professor for Communication at the University of Arts in Berlin.
In the quick interview below I asked him about his presentation on his wonderfully different marketing and communication model for brands.
Although I haven’t yet had a chance to speak further with him, based on what I heard, this sounds to me like an incredibly apposite model for redefining brand marketing and communication as we head towards web 3.0.
Check out the video below, then let’s unpack it a little.
This time the consumer will lead
By privileging the consumer response to our brand media, by experimenting, and at the same time offering stability, Christian believes that Read more …
Down below is a free PDF download of The Anatomy of Great Content – a content marketing model for both marketers and strategic communicators. It explains what makes for successful social content.
Sure it sounds obvious, but there’s two words in content marketing. Over the past couple of years consulting I’ve noticed that marketers struggle with the ‘content’ (communication) end of things. And strategic communicators struggle with the ‘marketing’ end of things.
Successful content marketing (or social media marketing, for that matter) needs both. But the common question is:
What is great content?
Apparently, content is still the elephant in the room. Here’s some advice from Read more …