Storytelling is one of the best ways a marketer can communicate their message. If you want to capture the attention and interest of your audience you must tell stories. This past Friday we had a very violent rain and windstorm that hit all of New England. Usually at this time of year we would be talking about a blizzard with people digging out for days. Not this time. Instead we got two to as much as seven inches of rain and hurricane-force winds. Northern New England, especially New Hampshire (NH) my home state, got hit very hard. In 2008 we got hit with an ice storm that knocked out power to more than 400,000 people in NH. Some people didn’t have power for weeks and everyone learned a lot from the great ice storm.
This time it was a wind, and that wind took down thousands of trees on power lines, cars, houses and whatever else was in their path. The power at my house, which is on the seacoast, went out around 10 PM Thursday. I woke up and still had no power. I went to work, wondering when we would get it back. On my way to work I saw dozens of trees on the roads and sidewalks. There was no power until I got into Massachusetts.
Throughout the day and during the weekend I followed the coverage on Twitter, something I didn't do during the ice storm. I was intrigued to follow the conversations going on about the storm. PSNH has a Twitter account and was activity supplying information about restoration efforts and redirecting people back to their web site. People in communities throughout NH were reporting damage, uploading pictures and giving PSNH precise locations of power line damage. They were letting others what gas stations were open, where the local shelters were being set up and even where to take a hot shower. Even now, as a write this, conversations are taking place about towns still without power and the cleanup that will take weeks.
All of these people are telling stories and they're doing it in 140 characters or less. It’s exactly what marketers must do when trying to convey a value proposition, a call-to-action, a blog post, web site content; they all must convey an underlying story that grabs the attention of the reader. It must relate to them and trigger an action in their mind to do something. Become a great storyteller and you’ll be a terrific marketer.