This past April I found another great day that provides a good reason to get a blog out: National Storytelling Day. The info is good any time of year, so I'm using it for my blog now.
I remember attending a national writers conference where two NIH communicators were speaking. Their topic: something like “Bringing Storytelling to Healthcare Documents.”
It’s hard to get the storytelling concept accepted by many potential clients…especially the ones not on the marketing side. Though I admit many of today’s biz marketing gurus are wonders at Pinterest imaging, Tweets, and terms like ROIs, they’re often not truly trained in journalism. As for HR, sales, and other execs…they are great at stats, legal stuff, and other materials, but they stick more to regulatory styles, not storytelling.
That doesn’t mean us storytellers start with “Once upon a time” openings––though that can sometimes work! Instead we provide what my subhead indicates: business materials that are factional—but fascinating.
So many topics, so little time
There are so many business stories possible that it’s hard to run out. I’ve worked on setting up editorial calendars where within 90 minutes—especially when attendees have researched beforehand—we have tons of special dates to build into stories…more than we can use.
You’ve seen business stories of mine that have been inspired by a special day, including last week’s, related to “Get to Know Your Customers Day”. And yes: this is a holiday-related story—but just like Customer’s Day it’s probably not a holiday most of you know. (Heck, I’d never heard of it!)
Here are just a few other potential business-related stories: National Police Week (3rd week of May); Nat’l Anti-Boredom Month (July), and World Vegetarian Day (Oct. 1).
To find these and many other options, I heartily recommend, “Weird & Wacky Holidays.” It’s an annual guidebook published (forever it seems) by Gina Marks. While I admit the ‘net offers easy ways to look up holidays, I heartily recommend this book. Gina doesn’t just give a straight list, she offers great ideas.
Who needs a holiday?
While holidays are a great inspiration for story topics, you have tons of other options. Profile an exec, be they a staffer or among your customers.
Do you have a new product or service? Is it for business leaders or their customers? Either way, a short news item—directed to B2B or B2C media outlets—is another story to write.
I do NOT recommend pounding at folks’ email every day. (I personally hate that kind of pressure.) But weekly emails (like this) and blog postings with savvy advice or quick news works.
Have you explored LinkedIn’s Pulse section? It’s where you can post all sorts of stories, from short news to true features. You can simply copy your blog and use it there. Here’s a link to one of many original stories I ghosted for a client with a very select healthcare business niche, reached through a few key LI groups. (Such stories, BTW, should stay between about 650 and maybe 1,000 words.)
For more in-depth insights, offer current and potential clients case studies and/or white papers. While I’ve done one-page two-sided white papers, most are much longer: six, eight, even ten thousand words. This usually takes far more research, interviews, and—after submission—several reviews. (Many other things only need more than one approval review.)
Good, fast, cheap
Do you know the words in this subhead? They work along the lines of this:
I can provide this assignment in any two out of three ways:
1. Folks who want things fast and cheap, rarely get good results.
2. If you want it good and cheap, well…that project’s not in a fast-priority segment.
3. So if you want it good and fast, it’s not cheap.
That’s why it’s critical you truly evaluate your priorities. Businesses on truly tight budgets need to accept they may have to expect one of the first two options. And anyone who’s just being a cheapskate? Well…’nuff said. ####
Wendy Meyeroff has been providing storytelling (and other skills) to folks in all sorts of businesses for 20+ years. Contact her for your free 15-minute initial chat!