Dale: Good marketing communications blends engaging storytelling with on-target message delivery. That may be taken for granted by some people, but we put a lot of emphasis on it because it requires so much attention to get the balance right.
Andrew: The story is what gives the message its impact. You have to connect with the audience. If you’re able to create a relationship with people through a story, they’ll remember what you have to say.
Steve: I think the reverse can also be true. An engaging story is always captivating, but what makes it relevant is its message. A strong theme, message or concept gives the story its backbone.
Andrew: So back to Dale’s point, you need both.
Dale: Social media makes everyone a storyteller. Of course, in that context people sometimes seem more interested in telling than they do listening, which poses a challenge.
Steve: I think the social media savvy generation still likes to listen, they just want to know more, faster. They need to see what they’re looking for immediately or they’ll be onto the next thing.
Andrew: But the point is that what makes a story, what constitutes ‘storytelling’, is always changing.
Al: I think the fundamentals remain the same: hook, flow and message. You can find them in a newspaper article, a novel or a good Twitter post. It’s the delivery, packaging and format that are constantly evolving.
Dale: The web is a perfect example. As Steve says, users are looking for information. Search engines are looking for keywords. And marcom departments are looking to make sure their messages are coming across. You have to engage people while addressing all those needs. You have to understand what’s going to work in the medium.