I want to tell you a story...

Every so often my young daughter asks me to tell her a story at bedtime. At first, this was easy - reading one of her many books (over and over again).

Now as she’s getting older I have to invent stories. And not just the classic good versus evil, happily ever after style. No, she wants to test me out as a storyteller.

Her latest craze is called ‘5 in 5’ in which she gives me 5 things to weave into the plot at some point during the 5-minute story. Not as easy as it sounds - try it with saucepan, witch, treehouse, trampoline and Blue Teddy.

Most of the stories she’s happy with and I am excused to go and have my dinner. Some are not very good and I have to try again with different characters. But the ones she absolutely loves are those that include her. So not just the 5 things she wants to hear but also her doing amazing activities, saving lives, flying, dancing and generally being brave and cool.

This got me thinking. About work of course.

As we now all know, in our business we are storytellers. We and our clients are publishers, pumping out content across all media (paid, earned, owned and social), getting messages across in an integrated manner. Telling a story to our different types of audiences is of paramount importance.

But the stories that our audiences love the best are those that include them. We mustn’t just come up with 5 ‘things’, throw them together in an exciting, creative way and hope for the best. What do our audiences want?

I think they want to be involved: to save the princess, slay the dragon, fly the plane.

In reality this must mean giving audiences a main role in the brand’s story. What happens next? What do think of that? Where should we go? Engagement, interaction, making them feel like my 6-year-old daughter in her own story.

Once these feelings are evoked, brand sentiment and awareness is up, the conversations have started and commercial goals can be achieved.


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