What do you want others to know about you, your services and your expertise? This is one of the first questions we ask prospective clients. If they can’t answer that question, then we know that’s where we need to begin our work together. We help them see that who they are matters greatly to those they are trying to reach. In many cases, in fact, it is this information about how someone or something came to be that puts a human face on clients as well as the community they want to serve. In many ways, it also serves as a roadmap that compels others to understand and appreciate the journey. And that can take thought, practice and effort.
StorylinesIt also requires a willingness to explore storylines to determine what’s authentic. Everyone has a few storylines; some better (and more appropriate) than others.
We recently came across a great article on Heleo.com about storytelling. Michael Lewis’ 9 Rules of Storytelling looks at traditional storytelling from a writer’s perspective. We think the information is helpful for anyone who wants to develop meaningful and relevant ways to communicate their backstory into their public relations campaign.
Here are four of his rules:
Rule #3: Pay attention to the way you tell the story of your own life.
If you find you are caught in a ‘poor me’ story, consider its impact upon others. Remember, you want people to use your expertise and services because what you have to offer is effective. You don’t want them to pity you.
Rule #4: Admit contradictory evidence.
In your story, you are a character. Observe character traits - even when they are in conflict- and appreciate how they combine to make you and your message unique. Hone those traits as they express what you have in common with others. They are what make you and your life experiences relatable.
Rule #8: Have the nerve to be yourself—you can’t learn voice.
Don’t try to tell someone else’s story. Be you because that’s who others will see. This is who they will want to connect with.
Rule #9: Figure out what you’re trying to say and don’t overtax the reader with how you say it.
This is where practice comes into play. Keep the message simple and brief. The more accessible and immediate, the better.
To read his complete article, click here.