Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tell your story then engage your audience - Jaqui Lane

Guest Blogger: Jaqui Lane - Global Stories

I first met Jaqui Lane in 2001 when I was Director of Marketing at IBM Australia & New Zealand. Jaqui led the IBM@70 Book initiative which involved chronicling the rich history of IBM in Australia from 1932 to 2002, through the depiction of stories and pictures from the people and groups who knew the company best - loyal customers, prominent business partners and former & current employees. Jaqui was also instrumental in the development of my book, Connection Generation for which I'm eternally grateful. As she launches her next adventure,  "Global Stories", she agreed to guest post on my blog: 

After 20 plus years in corporate publishing and observing the major transformation of publishing, content and media and the challenges this has created for both the media sector and companies, I believe there is a gap in the media landscape - that of delivering quality content (which I call stories) to the potential customer or client on the platform
that they chose.

My dear friend Iggy Pintado calls this “ the user chooses” model.

The heart of all of this though, to me, has to be the quality of the content. If the content is not of the highest written quality, with relevant and meaningful themes and delivered  through well-constructed writing, no matter what social media or on-line channel you chose it simply won’t be effective. Not all content is created equal and it’s been detrimental, in my view, that so much focus has been on the social media tools to the exclusion of what story is being shared and to what audience.

So, in typically understated fashion, I have formed Global Stories with the aim to change the world of corporate communications or as a I describe it story telling, by starting with the story and then working through the best and most effective channels to tell it. As the father of transmedia storytelling, Harry Jenkins has said, “ If it doesn’t spread, its dead.”  To that I’d add, “Make your story great before its too late.”

By creating content that engages and is in ‘narrative synch’ we can drive and maintain engagement across any audience. And, this applies to large and small companies, brands, products, services, family businesses, community organisations and individuals. If you’re not creating a great story that has meaning and relevance no matter what you do it and where you ‘put it’ it simply won’t resonate.

So, tell me your story, or let me know about a story you’d like to tell. To get you started here’s an example.

I was once commissioned to write the story of a highly successful American family business. They had one issue though, Uncle Chuck. Uncle Chuck was the black sheep of the family whose life of crime and numerous jail terms ended up with his death in the electric chair. ‘Don’t come right out and say this’, my client said. So this is what I wrote after considering my audience - the family and their clients; the delivery channel - a closed circulation book; and the overall theme/objective - that the family company was a strong, secure and reputable business:

Uncle Chuck was a charismatic and arresting member of the family who spent a great deal of time involved in government institutions. His varied and long career in a traditional sector of financial services saw him engage with a wide range of the community and his death came as a real shock.

A quick pointer before you start. Research your audience and understand what they want to know about, care about and want to hear.

Please leave a comment below about your story or one you'd like to tell.

Guest Blog: Jaqui Lane - Global Stories http://globalstories.com.au/ 

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