“But how could you live and have no story to tell?” Fyodor Dostoevsky.
As we are in the business of telling stories, I thought we’d tip our hat this May to “National Share a Story Month”.
Ok, it’s an initiative run by the Federation of Childrens Book Groups (FCBG) and is designed to encourage reading to children and sharing the joy this brings – but I couldn’t help but get involved.
Telling a story is what we do best, the narrative of which is the DNA of any brand. Our clients are creating remarkable stories daily and it’s our job to unearth these and share them with those that matter most. Not unlike parents sharing, or reading stories, to their children.
But why is narrative so important?
Let’s consider the commercial world that envelops our lives – without narrative, a brand is static. Through social media, mass media and the big screen we are sold dreams. A 1950s advert would sell a product but today we are promised an aspirational lifestyle, and we are more and more drawn in by brands that will provide us with a better family life, and an invigorated love life.
A cup of coffee doesn’t just taste nice and give us an early morning “pick me up”, there’s much more to it than that. It helps us to network and yes, fall in love – if the Gold Blend ads of the 80s and 90s are to be believed. And, even a jug of gravy can be the central force in bonding a family together – even if slightly dysfunctional. It creates a narrative we can all conform to, recognise and say, “Ahh…Bisto”
A good story needs to be compelling, resonate with your audience and have a consistency. Narrative is crucial when talking to stakeholders, influencers and audiences. It needs a drum beat and like all good tales, a setup, a conflict and a resolution – a beginning, a middle and an end, as it were.
A news piece will still need to answer the five Ws (and an H) but we don’t always have news to convey. We need an opinion, we need some intellectual property and we need a purpose – this is storytelling. John Lewis may appear to pop up just once a year with a blockbuster Christmas TV campaign, but in reality, it does so as part of the bigger picture, or story, and it’s never knowingly undersold…
Because you’re worth it
Likewise, we are being asked to dare to dream, just do it, think different and every little helps because after all, we’re worth it.
So whether it’s Enid Blyton’s Tales of the Wishing Chair (ok, I’m showing my age here…) or Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights – drop us a note on @MontPR and tell us what your favourite story is. We’ll all be doing so, and sharing pictures, too.
The FCBG’s theme for this year is “Travelling Tales” and is not restricted to trains, planes and automobiles, either. Which is quite apt as one of my all-time favourites is David Gerrold’s 1973 time travel classic, “The Man Who Folded Himself”.
If you love time travel, and all the paradoxes it throws up, check it out. But, if it’s your story that needs telling, contact us on 01242 262977, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Dean Enon